Role of Biopsychosocial Screening in Cancer Care

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Abstract

This review focuses on the aspects of biopsychosocial screening that have specific and significant implications for supportive care related to cancer care and research. There is a robust literature relating to the unmet supportive care needs of cancer patients and their families and the clinical interventions needed to effectively manage many of their problems. The Zeitgeist movement, which promotes the idea that the resources of this planet are the inherent right of all peoples, is also uniquely aligned to see supportive care services in oncology bringing significant value (cost and quality) to a health care system that is experiencing great uncertainty. Overall, there is a broadening of perspective within the supportive care community that there needs to be greater levels of interdisciplinary integration. More significantly, there is a growing realization that for cancer care to be truly patient and family centered and even minimally efficient, disease-directed care and supportive care need to be integrated from the time of diagnosis. The coordination of these services should not be based on the stage of the disease but rather tailored to the needs of the patient, family, and social context. Biopsychosocial screening programs have the potential to be the connective tissue of these patient- and family-centered systems.

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