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Beraldi, A.; Kukk, E.; Heußner, P.; Herschbach, P. (2016): Needs, knowledge, acceptance and use of psychosocial facilities. A rural-urban comparison of patients with colorectal cancer. In: Onkologe, Vol. 22, No. 2: pp. 121-126
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Abstract

Background. Colorectal cancer is the second most common form of cancer in Germany and for many of those affected is accompanied by psychosocial distress. The psychosocial care of cancer patients is nowadays an integral component of oncological treatment;however, it remains unclear whether the outpatient support provided covers the needs and reaches the affected patients. Objective. Following an overview of the impairments of patients with colorectal cancer reported in the relevant literature, some of the results of this study are presented. The aim of the study was to establish whether the mental health (MH) outcomes, attitudes towards cancer-specific MH (CS-MH) resources and the availability of such resources differ between rural and urban cancer patients. Results. Although approximately one third of the patients had psychosocial impairments and approximately 10% of the patients showed increased levels of anxiety and depression, the utilization of psychosocial support services was very low (<2%). Approximately 17% of the patients questioned reported that they would certainly make use of such assistance. Despite a higher availability of CSMH resources, urban patients showed poorer doctor-patient relationships and less knowledge of such resources than rural patients. Overall, knowledge and use of these resources was poor. Conclusion. The amount of psychosocial support facilities available appears to be less important than establishing an efficient communication network between patients, doctors and providers of CSMH resources in order to achieve satisfaction with treatment of urban and rural cancer patients.