Psychologie en Gezondheid

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 276–287 | Cite as

Psychologische interventies bij kanker – zoeken naar de juiste maat

Serie: Psychologische interventies bij somatische aandoeningen


Psychological interventions in cancer

Currently cancer is the first cause of death in Western society, but also: many patients survive, due to improved treatments. During the past 30 years psycho-oncology has grown from a non-issue to an important aspect of cancer-rehabilitation. Psychological adaptation to cancer is a complex process, where daily hassles go along with existential concerns. Depending on the phase of disease-treatment-outcome, the patient struggles with loss of health, loss of control and with anxiety. Ego documents may show impressive qualitative narratives or artistic work. However outcomes of scientific psychological research concerning distress, depression or anxiety are ambiguous (ranges vary from 0-50%). Currently, experiences of ‘growth’ are investigated and appear to be present in at least half of the patients. Psychological screening during treatment is also an actual topic; it seems that only a small part of patients that report high levels of distress have a need for professional help. Scientifically, the measurement of the efficacy of psycho-oncological interventions is an important topic; there is a large variety of research-outcomes and this has led to a critical stance concerning research designs and review-strategies. In clinical practice however, a quite broad spectrum of psycho-oncological intervention options has been developed during the past two decades in The Netherlands.


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© Bohn Stafleu van Loghum 2009

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