Patients' Desire for Psychological Support When Receiving a Cancer Diagnostic

Tomás Blasco, Esther Jovell, Rosanna Mirapeix, Concha Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Factors related to the desire of receiving psychological help in cancer patients are not well known. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of patients who would ask for psychological assistance in the first weeks following diagnosis, and to identify their psychosocial and disease-related profile. Method: This cross-sectional study assessed 229 consecutive cancer outpatients at a visit with their oncologist to be informed about the treatment they will receive. Disease-related and medical characteristics were assessed, and patients were asked about their mood states, levels of self-efficacy, and difficulties coping with the disease. Finally, patients were asked about their desire to receive psychological assistance. Results: Only 20% of patients expressed a desire for psychological help. These patients were lower in age and had previous history of mood disorders and reported higher discouragement and coping difficulties. These variables explained 30.6% of variance. Conclusions: Although psycho-oncologists can provide helpful interventions, the percentage of patients interested in receiving psychological assistance in this study is low. Although further studies are needed, results from this study suggest methods that could easily be used by oncologists and nurses to identify patients who would like to receive psychological support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cancer patients
  • Psychological support
  • Coping
  • Mood disorders


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