Coping with the Unthinkable: Psychosocial Advances in the Management of Primary Brain Tumour
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Brain cancer is a complex and distressing illness with a typically poor prospect for survival. Worldwide, approximately 256,000 people (1800 in Australia) are diagnosed each year (Ferlay, Soerjomataram & Ervik, 2013). Cancer of the brain poses a double threat – to one's survival and sense of self. Most people with primary brain tumour develop serious neuro-cognitive symptoms (e.g., seizures, memory loss) and experience poor mental health and quality of life, which places enormous burden on family care givers. Not surprisingly, high rates of psychological distress have been reported by people with brain tumour and their family care givers. Psychological distress can persist beyond primary treatment, and often increases in the long-term phase of illness due to the perceived threat and experience of recurrence and functional decline. Over the last decade, there have been many advances in the psychosocial management of people with brain tumour. This paper provides an overview of the functional, psychological and social consequences of brain tumour, summarises some leading developments in psychological assessment and management, and outlines future directions in intervention research.
© 2016 Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Psychology not elsewhere classified