Psycho-oncology and primary prevention in cancer control plans: An absent voice?
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Background: One third of cancer deaths are attributable to modifiable lifestyle, behaviour and psychosocial risk factors. Psycho-oncology can contribute significantly to prevention initiatives such as those described in national cancer control plans (NCCPs), to reduce or eliminate these risk factors. However, the extent to which psycho-oncology expertise has informed prevention objectives in plans is unclear. Methods: Accordingly, 35 English language NCCPs were located via existing databases and were searched using Adobe text searches ('psycho', 'social', 'behav' and 'intervention') to identify (a) representations of psycho-oncology, its dimensions (psychological, social and behavioural) and roles (e.g. psychologist); and (b) behaviour/lifestyle change interventions. Results: A third of NCCPs included the termpsycho- or psychosocial-oncology; approximately half referred to a psycho-oncology dimension regarding prevention and early detection and half included actions/objectives relating to health professionals and provision of psychosocial care. The majority of cancer plans included prevention outcomes and focussed primarily on smoking cessation and alcohol reduction. Interventions commonly proposed were education, regulation and service provision; however, many were aspirational statements of intent rather than specific interventions. Psycho-oncology was represented in NCCPs but was limited in reference to prevention with few behavioural interventions utilised. Conclusions: Psycho-oncology input is needed to prescribe evidence-based interventions in cancer plans that not only educate, regulate and provide resources but also motivate, empower and create a supportive normative environment for behaviour change. In this manuscript, and throughout this Special Issue on Cancer Prevention, important principles, ideas and evidence within psychooncology are outlined which, if properly implemented, can help reduce the global cancer burden.
Copyright 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Psycho-oncology and primary prevention in cancer control plans: An absent voice?, Psycho-Oncology, Volume 24, Issue 10, pages 1338–1345, 2015 which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.3917. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html)
Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified