Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Psychosocial Care of Adults with Cancer (National Breast Cancer Centre and National Cancer Control Initiative, 2003)

Emotional and Social Support

Guideline: The extent to which a person with cancer has support and feels supported has been identified as a major factor in their adjustment to the disease. It is essential to check the extent of support available to the patient, to recommend additional support as required and to provide information about where this is available.

Gender and psychosocial support

Guideline: Clinicians and the treatment team need to consider that the psychosocial needs of men and women may vary both in extent and how they are expressed. Successful strategies for meeting psychosocial support needs may therefore differ for men and women. Where the delivery method is inappropriate or insensitive, men may simply not participate or not gain a benefit.

Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America (New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003)

Recommendation 1.1 Advance and implement a national campaign to reduce the stigma of seeking care and a national strategy for suicide prevention.

Recommendation 1.2 Address mental health with the same urgency as physical health.

Recommendation 2.3 Align relevant federal programs to improve access and accountability for mental health services.

Recommendation 2.4 Create a Comprehensive State Mental Health Plan.

Recommendation 3.1 Improve access to quality care that is culturally competent.

Recommendation 3.2 Improve access to quality care in rural and geographically remote areas.

Recommendation 4.1 Promote the mental health of young children.

Meeting Psychosocial Needs of Women with Breast Cancer (IOM and NRC, 2004)

Breast cancer care clinicians, such as oncologists and other medical professionals, responsible for the care of women with breast cancer should incorporate planning for psychosocial management as an integral part of treatment. They should routinely assess and address psychosocial distress as a part of total medical care.

From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition (IOM and NRC, 2006)

Recommendation 6 Congress should support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other collaborating institutions, and the states in developing comprehensive cancer control plans that include consideration of survivorship care, and promoting the implementation, evaluation, and refinement of existing state cancer control plans.


NCCN Distress Management Clinical Practice Guidelines, (NCCN, 2006)

  • All patients should be screened for distress at their initial visit, at appropriate intervals, and as clinically indicated especially with changes in disease status (i.e., remission, recurrence, progression).

  • Screening should identify the level and nature of the distress.

  • Conduct multi-center trials that explore brief screening instruments….

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