Providing Psycho-oncology Services for Patients with Cancer: Some Problems and Solutions
AbstractAlthough it is said that developing countries generally face financial difficulties, it is important to note that financial burden of not meeting mental needs of cancer patients and their families might be more than that of providing psycho-oncology care. Furthermore, cancer charities and other community resources and organizations can play important roles in compliance with codified and transparent policies, procedures and regulations and in coordination with the Ministry of Health and teaching hospitals to satisfy cancer patients' needs through cooperation with the hospital authorities in order to supply professional human resources required via financial support, provide psychosocial support and home care to patients by trained care givers and so on.To overcome problems such as disproportion between the number of the psychiatrists and cancer beds, arrangements such as screening cancer inpatients, using appropriate measures can be done and cut offs can be determined based on the number of the available psychiatrists and clinical psychologists and workload, in addition to scientific evidence. Besides, specificity of the results could be augmented by considering the need patients feel to be mentally assessed and asking questions on severity of perceived distress and impairment of function (social, personal, occupational, …), the two important criteria to diagnose psychiatric disorders. In this way, patients more likely to suffer psychiatric disorders or problems might be detected.
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