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Addressing psychological issues – the role of the Primary Care Practitioner

Watch this video to hear from leading experts in the field about how to identify and manage physiological and psychological needs of cancer survivors.

What is the role of the Primary Care Practitioner in addressing common psychological issues for cancer survivors?

As you have heard in the video there are many different perspectives to the role of the PCP in addressing psychological issues for cancer survivors.

In the Netherlands it was noted that PCPs typically feel more comfortable addressing and treating symptoms and co-morbidities, and tend to refer their patients to psychologists for psychological care.

We heard that in the UK, PCPs also tend to focus more on helping patients with physical problems associated with the treatment or consequences of the treatment, or the cancer itself. Although PCPs are comfortable and able to meet the psychological needs of their patients, there is just not enough time in the standard 10 minute consultation to which most GPs work to in the UK.

It was also noted, that PCPs are probably better set up to deal with psychological implications of chronic diseases, and that there is probably similarity in the nature of psychological issues in chronic diseases such as heart disease or cancer e.g. the risk of recurrence.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the role of PCPs in addressing psychological issues of their patients depends on where they live? What is your role, or what have you experienced the PCP’s role is when it comes advising the survivor on common psychological issues?

Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners

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