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Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs
Recommendation 7: Workforce competencies.
Educational accrediting organizations, licensing bodies, and professional societies should examine their standards and licensingand certification criteria with an eye to identifying competenciesin delivering psychosocial health care and developing them as fullyas possible in accordance with a model that integrates biomedicaland psychosocial care.
Congress and federal agencies should support and fund the establishment of a Workforce Development Collaborative on Psychosocial Care during Chronic Medical Illness. This cross-specialty,multidisciplinary group should comprise educators, consumer andfamily advocates, and providers of psychosocial and biomedicalhealth services and be charged with
identifying, refining, and broadly disseminating to health care educators information about workforce competencies, models, andpreservice curricula relevant to providing psychosocial servicesto persons with chronic medical illnesses and their families;
adapting curricula for continuing education of the existing workforce using efficient workplace-based learning approaches;
drafting and implementing a plan for developing the skills offaculty and other trainers in teaching psychosocial health careusing evidence-based teaching strategies; and
strengthening the emphasis on psychosocial health care in educational accreditation standards and professional licensing andcertification exams by recommending revisions to the relevantoversight organizations.
Organizations providing research funding should support assessment of the implementation in education, training, and clinicalpractice of the workforce competencies necessary to provide psychosocial care and their impact on achieving the standard for suchcare set forth in recommendation 1.
In addition, improving the delivery of psychosocial health services requires targeted research. This research should aim to clarify the efficacy and effectiveness of new and existing services and to identify ways of improving the delivery of these services to various populations in different geographic locations and with varying levels of resources. Doing so would be facilitated by clarifying and standardizing the often unclear and inconsistent language used to refer to psychosocial services.
Recommendation 8: Standardized nomenclature. To facilitate research on and quality measurement of psychosocial interventions, the