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Need for Supportive Counselling – the Professionals’ versus the Patients’ Perspective

Need for Supportive Counselling – the Professionals’ versus the Patients’ Perspective Background: The aim of the study was to identify melanoma patients who suffered significant distress and were judged to be in need of supportive counselling, on the one hand, and, on the other, to investigate patient interest in such support. Methods: Out of 236 melanoma patients, who constitute a representative sample of melanoma patients in Western Austria, 215 patients participated in the study and were assessed with regard to psychosocial distress, coping strategies, social networks and interest in receiving psychosocial support. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed with regard to patient interest in receiving psychosocial support either from the attending oncologist or from a mental health professional. Results: 65 patients (30.2%) experienced moderate and 30 patients (14.0%) severe distress, which was predominantly caused by tumour-related fears, tension and disturbance of emotional well-being. 83% of the severely distressed patients wanted psychosocial support from their oncologists, whereas only half of them were interested in additional support from a psychotherapist. In particular, patients who showed fear of tumour progression and felt that they were insufficiently informed about their disease preferred to consult their dermatologist for psychosocial support. On the other hand, patients with poor prognosis, receiving only low levels of support from their social network, and exhibiting a depressive coping style, showed interest in getting supplementary support from a psychotherapist. Conclusions: These findings underline the importance of educating oncologists with a view both to improve their communication skills and to help them identify patients making poor adjustment to illness in order to offer them appropriate emotional support. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics Karger

Need for Supportive Counselling – the Professionals’ versus the Patients’ Perspective

Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics , Volume 67 (2): 11 – Apr 1, 1998

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References (43)

Publisher
Karger
Copyright
© 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel
ISSN
0033-3190
eISSN
1423-0348
DOI
10.1159/000012266
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background: The aim of the study was to identify melanoma patients who suffered significant distress and were judged to be in need of supportive counselling, on the one hand, and, on the other, to investigate patient interest in such support. Methods: Out of 236 melanoma patients, who constitute a representative sample of melanoma patients in Western Austria, 215 patients participated in the study and were assessed with regard to psychosocial distress, coping strategies, social networks and interest in receiving psychosocial support. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed with regard to patient interest in receiving psychosocial support either from the attending oncologist or from a mental health professional. Results: 65 patients (30.2%) experienced moderate and 30 patients (14.0%) severe distress, which was predominantly caused by tumour-related fears, tension and disturbance of emotional well-being. 83% of the severely distressed patients wanted psychosocial support from their oncologists, whereas only half of them were interested in additional support from a psychotherapist. In particular, patients who showed fear of tumour progression and felt that they were insufficiently informed about their disease preferred to consult their dermatologist for psychosocial support. On the other hand, patients with poor prognosis, receiving only low levels of support from their social network, and exhibiting a depressive coping style, showed interest in getting supplementary support from a psychotherapist. Conclusions: These findings underline the importance of educating oncologists with a view both to improve their communication skills and to help them identify patients making poor adjustment to illness in order to offer them appropriate emotional support.

Journal

Psychotherapy and PsychosomaticsKarger

Published: Apr 1, 1998

Keywords: Melanoma; Psychosocial distress; Coping with illness; Social support; Psychotherapy

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