Psychological responses and support needs of patients following head and neck cancer



Humphris GM & Ozakinci G (2006) Psychological responses and support needs of patients following head and neck cancer. International Journal of Surgery, 4 (1), pp. 37-44.;

The patient with head and neck (H&N) cancer is prone to psychological distress immediately following diagnosis and during the treatment phase. Lowered mood is typical and tends to extend beyond the treatment phase. There is little evidence for a specific treatment method predicting a characteristic psychological response. Rather, patients' reactions vary widely according to fears of recurrence, health beliefs, personality, coping and available support. Patient reports of quality of life show a return to pre-treatment status after a year but are determined to some degree by initial depression levels and dispositional factors such as optimism. Information provided to patients (e.g. leaflets, booklets of written guidance) by specialist treatment centres about the disease and its management require sustained effort in their design and distribution. Our understanding of patient responses to this disease has improved and has assisted in the development of psychological interventions. Controlled trials will provide important evidence of the components, effects and sustainability of these experimental programmes, and improve overall care plans for this often neglected patient group.

head and neck cancer; quality of life; psychology; patient information needs;

cited By 30

International Journal of Surgery: Volume 4, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2006
Publication date online03/02/2006
Date accepted by journal01/11/2006
Publisher URL…14e8f4d51300c570

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Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor and Deputy Dean of Faculty, Psychology