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.
KeywordsCancer diagnosis Psycho-oncology Breaking bad news Coping Fatigue
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