• Kurt FritzscheEmail author
  • Sonia Diaz Monsalve
  • Hamid Afshar Zanjani
  • Farzad Goli
  • Catharina Marika Dobos


The field of psycho-oncology studies the influence of psychological and social factors on the development, course, and coping of oncological diseases and investigates the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatment methods to improve the emotional well-being and quality of life of oncological patients. Depending on the disease and treatment stage, 20–50% of all patients with a cancer diagnosis show symptoms of depressive and anxiety disorders and are in need of (at least short-term) psychosocial support. Favorable coping strategies are: searching for meaning, active problem-oriented coping, spirituality, trusting the doctors, and good interpersonal relationships. During the communication of a cancer diagnosis, it is expecially important for the doctor to respond to negative emotions of the patient and his/her family with empathy. Patients expect the doctor to provide competent diagnostic information and to educate them about the stage of the disease and possible treatment, as well as empathically supporting the patient while including the patient’s family into the conversation.


Cancer diagnosis Psycho-oncology Breaking bad news Coping Fatigue 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Fritzsche
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sonia Diaz Monsalve
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hamid Afshar Zanjani
    • 3
    • 4
  • Farzad Goli
    • 5
    • 6
  • Catharina Marika Dobos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyCenter for Mental Health, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.ZMG Centre for Medicine and SocietyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, Medical FacultyPsychosomatic Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  4. 4.Noor HospitalIsfahanIran
  5. 5.Department of Bioenergy EconomyEnergy Medicine UniversityMill ValleyUSA
  6. 6.Danesh-e Tandorosti InstituteIsfahanIran

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