The Health Professionals Guide to Delivering Psychological Care for Adults with Cancer

Professor Suzanne Chambers AO PhD RN FACHP MAPS and Professor Jeff Dunn AO PhD FAICD




Addressing the unmet psychological needs of cancer survivors and their families by increasing a healthcare professional’s confidence in recognising and responding to that need through the use of an online toolkit of resources.

		

"Eloquently written by international doyens of psycho-oncology this must-read guide is a comprehensive tool for all health professionals involved in cancer care.”

Sandro V PorcedduBSc, MBBS (Hons), FRANZCR, MD, Director, Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Professor, University of Queensland, Professor, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

										
		
		 

The frightening psychological impact that a person and their family may experience after a diagnosis of cancer is well recognised. Up to one in four people with cancer will experience clinically significant distress. Yet many patients and families find personalised psychological care difficult to access. In most hospitals and cancer treatment settings, there are rarely enough mental health specialists to go around.

That’s why Professor Suzanne Chambers, AO and Professor Jeff Dunn, AO have worked to find a cost-effective way of extending patient access to psychological care through the use of an evidence-based, practical, manualised approach. The Health Professionals Guide to Delivering Psychological Care for Adults with Cancer extends care beyond specialist mental health staff by supporting allied health professionals, specialist and general nurses, and medical practitioners with practical guidance and tools, increasing their confidence in recognising and responding to the mental health concerns of their patients. Using the stepped-care model of psychosocial cancer care, the Guide shows staff how to use universal and low-intensity care interventions to support patients and their families and complement management of treatment effects -- holistic care matched to patient preferences.

More staff are supported to help more patients.

The guide provides information on coaching the patient to understand their experience of suffering, learning skills to manage the challenges they may experience, and developing personal agency in how they and their family choose to face the future. It includes online handouts and worksheets specifically constructed to convey support and practical self-help using cognitive behavioural principles. The guide also provides information on the unique aspects of the emotional impact of cancer, guidance about the key elements of a supportive alliance with patients, the importance of distress screening, and key psychological issues facing patients.



The guide is available in both print and digital formats to provide accessibility and flexibility of use to the preferred needs of various healthcare organisations and systems. It enables health institutions to use an existing range of staff to create a customised stepped care approach to the delivery of evidence-based psychological care within everyday oncology practice. Users can download handouts and worksheets locally and provide printed copies to patients or, if dealing remotely, email them.

The individual-user print edition of the guide includes perpetual licensed password access to the handouts and worksheets. 

Hospitals and treatment centres can buy printed copies of the guide with access to downloadable materials, an all-digital library, or a mix — whatever best suits the makeup and distribution of oncology staff. There is no requirement to purchase software or to store or host any digital files. 










"This guide will enable healthcare providers to identify psychological distress and to deliver effective clinic-based psychological care that is systematic, routine and evidence-based. Cancer care providers and their patients will benefit enormously from this highly readable, rigorous and practical guide.”

Gary Rodin MD FRCPc

Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC), University of Toronto, Director, Cancer Experience Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada


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"Professors Chambers and Dunn have delivered what we have so badly been wanting – an approach that humanises clinical excellence and codifies it for easy implementation. This manual feels like a warm embrace. I commend it to one and all.”

Anita Cahill BSC Hons, RNP, HDip SHWW, RGN, Msc Nursing Studies, PGcert Advanced Practice/Midwifery, Past President, Irish Association of Urology Nurses


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"Psychological care, love, and support are like oil that flows between the medical cogs that grind ever onwards. Chambers and Dunn have captured the need for both; the need for relationship, connection, and pragmatic psychological support, hand in hand with outstanding medical care for every patient with cancer. You cannot care for the body, without caring for the soul."

Dr Briony Scott, educational leader and lung cancer patient advocate, Sydney, Australia

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About the Author

Professor Jeff Dunn AO and Professor Suzanne Chambers AO have dedicated their careers to caring for the patient and encouraging policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to do the same — to consider the patient and not just the disease. At the core of their approach is the philosophy of person and family-centred care, directly connected to best practice and an evidence base. As partners in life, and partners in the quest to improve outcomes for people with cancer, they stand as a force.

 

Suzanne is a health psychologist and registered nurse who has worked as a practitioner-researcher in psycho-oncology for over 30 years. She has over 300 peer-reviewed publications and numerous books, book chapters and monographs. Her work has focussed on developing models to predict help-seeking and adjustment after cancer: designing remote access psychological interventions for people affected by cancer, integrating peer support into controlled design methodologies, and integrating distress screening into interventions to target high-distress cancer patient groups. She was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2018 for distinguished service to medical research, particularly in psycho-oncology and community health through patient care strategies to assist men with prostate cancer. She is an Honorary Fellow with St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Australian Catholic University.

 

Jeff is a recognised World Cancer Leader and current Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) President which represents the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, and patient groups, with a membership base of over 1200 organisations in 172 countries. His work in cancer control spans 30 years, during which time he has dedicated his career to developing strategies that underpin cancer survival and improve awareness of the disease. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed manuscripts and numerous chapters and reports and received over $37 million in grant funding. He has led research translation in psychosocial care in oncology through distress screening and stepped care models on a state, national and international level. He was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2014 for distinguished service to medical administration through leadership of cancer control organisations and promotion of innovative and integrated cancer care programs. He is an Editorial Board member of Psycho-Oncology Journal of the Psychological, Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Cancer and Scientific Adviser, Professor of Social and Behavioural Science and Chair of Cancer Survivorship in the Division of Research and Innovation at the University of Southern Queensland and Chief of Mission and Head of Research at the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia where he leads survivorship research and plays a connecting role between research and practice, working closely with leading academic and clinicians to improve outcomes for men with prostate cancer.  

Reviews

‘Eloquently written by international doyens of psycho-oncology this must-read guide is a comprehensive tool for all health professionals involved in cancer care. This easy-to-read evidence-based guide provides insights into all aspects of psychological care as part of the cancer journey for patients, including the growing area of survivorship.’

Sandro V Porceddu, Director, Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Professor, University of Queensland, Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia




‘In this book, Chambers and Dunn provide step-by-step guidelines on how to provide psychological care for people from the time of diagnosis through survivorship. Written in approachable prose and undergirded with a compelling framework, clinicians of all sorts — oncologists, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists — will find it an essential resource. More important, however, in this book, Chambers and Dunn present a call to arms: the secret for oncology care is caring for the patient.’

Mark Lazenby, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean and Professor, Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, University of California Irvine, USA

 


'Chambers and Dunn have issued a clarion call for all those who treat patients with a cancer diagnosis. Above and beyond the medical machinery and treatments, countless waiting rooms, and well-meaning advice givers, when confronted with tough diagnoses and a world of uncertainty, caring for a person’s soul is the gold standard. Psychological care, love, and support are like oil that flows between the medical cogs that grind ever onwards. Chambers and Dunn have captured the need for both; the need for relationship, connection, and pragmatic psychological support, hand in hand with outstanding medical care for every patient with cancer — regardless of type or prognosis. This book captures what we know to be true. You cannot care for the body, without caring for the soul. They are one and the same.'

Dr Briony Scott, educational leader and lung cancer patient advocate, Sydney, Australia

 


‘Diagnosis of cancer, frequently a life-threatening illness requiring complex interventions, has a potential to be a life altering experience. The health systems traditionally focus on disease control and often ignore the psychological sequelae. The subject is of immense importance in current era of patient centred care. The book by Chambers and Dunn goes a long way to remind us about the importance of the impact of cancer on individual patients. It provides a comprehensive guide to psychological care and is an important resource for all health professionals and policy makers involved in cancer care and control.’

Mary K. Gospodarowicz MD, FRCPC, FRCR(Hon), Medical Director Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Toronto, Professor University of Toronto, Canada

 

 

‘If you are a medical expert who aspires to achieve benchmarks of excellence in your clinical practice, you will embrace this book as a cornerstone of care. In my three decades of practice as a clinician, researcher, executive, and mentor, I have seen the transformative effect of ensuring the patient – and the whole person — is placed at the centre of care. The evidence-based insights and practical strategies contained herein are every clinician’s raison d’etre. I commend this work, and this approach, to you, that it may inspire new models of care around the world, not just to reduce deaths from a disease that exacts an unacceptably high toll on the body, but to reduce the pain it imposes on our hearts and minds. Let this book be your new mandate.’

Dr Anil d’Cruz MS, DNB, FRCS (Hon), Past-President & Director, Union for International Cancer Control, Director, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India

 


‘One cannot and should not imagine caring for a person with cancer without paying attention to their psychological care. It is one of the essential elements of comprehensive cancer care and one of the most rewarding ones. This comprehensive textbook provides a step-by-step guidance that is evidence based, context appropriate and at all points, focused on the person with cancer. An essential resource for a practicing cancer care clinician.’

Bogda Koczwara AM BM BS FRACP MBioethics FAICD Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, Professor, Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute, Flinders University, Cancer Council SA Clinical Investigator, Australia

 


‘Having had the privilege of working with the Authors, it is a great relief that these preeminent researcher-practitioners have chosen to share their expertise and deep knowledge in this concise yet comprehensive book. While the book touches on specific critical psychological issues, such as stigma, unconscious negativity that may contribute to distress and worse outcomes in lung cancer, its Foundation and Flexible Components structure means it is entirely applicable to the vast range of human cancers, and translatable for the diverse communities affected by cancer. There is no doubt this individualised, person centred, evidence-based guide will help us empower cancer patients to better connect to self-help and resources.’

Professor Kwun M Fong MBBS(Lon) FRACP PhD FAPSR FThorSoc FERS CHIA, Senior Staff Specialist/Clinical Manager, Pulmonary Malignancy Unit. The Prince Charles Hospital, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane, Australia

 


‘The practical strategies and guidance in this manual will resonate as much with clinicians as patients, improving patient outcomes by properly considering the lived experience of the person at the centre of care. Professors Chambers and Dunn have delivered what we have so badly been wanting — an approach that humanises clinical excellence and codifies it for easy implementation. This manual feels like a warm embrace. I commend it to one and all.’

Anita Cahill BSC Hons, RNP, HDip SHWW, RGN, Msc Nursing Studies, PGcert Advanced Practice/Midwifery, Past President, Irish Association of Urology Nurses, Ireland

 


‘This text by Suzanne Chambers and Jeff Dunn is a uniquely valuable contribution to psycho-oncology and cancer survivorship by two distinguished leaders in these fields. Drawing upon a stepped care approach and making use of cognitive behavioral strategies, this guide will enable healthcare providers to identify psychological distress and to deliver effective clinic-based psychological care that is systematic, routine and evidence-based. Cancer care providers and their patients will benefit enormously from this highly readable, rigorous and practical guide to the psychological care of adults with cancer.’

Gary Rodin MD FRCPc, Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care(GIPPEC), University of Toronto, Director, Cancer Experience Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada

 


‘The guide delivers an evidenced base for our care team to support their patients through the cancer journey and connect what their patients are feeling with the personalised care they need. Providing tailored and practical psychological care for patients with cancer though the acute journey and into survivorship is an important part of how to deliver excellence in patient care and outcomes.’

Chris Pyke PhD,FRACS,FACS,FASI (Hon),AFRACMA,GAICD, Director of Medical Services, Mater Private Hospitals Brisbane, Redland and Springfield. Professor of Surgery, University of Qld
Mater Health, Brisbane, Australia

 


‘Professors Chambers and Dunn have done it again! They have tapped into their vast knowledge base and clinical experience, to produce a valuable adjunct for clinicians involved in the care of patients with cancer. They present ample evidence that prompt recognition and management of the psychological stressors associated with a cancer diagnosis can improve a patient’s journey not only when they and their family first hear the word cancer but also through treatment and survivorship. This book will empower clinicians by giving us the tools for the early recognition of the adverse psychological impacts of cancer diagnosis and management and by describing practical steps and schema to assess and manage these impacts in simple and straightforward ways empowering clinicians to provide ‘early accessible low intensity psychological care’. In the era of personalised medicine, we are given the tools to provide an extra layer of tailored, focused care to our patients when they are most vulnerable. This book inspires and empowers us to do better. Thank you.’

Peter Heathcote, Former President Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, Adjunct Professor Australian Prostate Research Centre Queensland University of Technology, Adjunct Clinical Professor Monash University Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Senior Urologist Princess Alexandra Hospital Brisbane, Australia