Objective Psycho-oncological counseling should be an integrated part of modern cancer therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the structures and interests of psycho-oncology services within European Society of Gynecological Oncology (ESGO) centers.
Methods In 2010, a survey, which consisted of 15 questions regarding organization of psycho-oncological services and interests in training and research, was sent to all ESGO-accredited centers (n = 41).
Results The response rate was 65.8% (27 centers). 96.3% (n = 26) of the surveys came from universities, and 3.7% (n = 1) came from nonacademic institutions. Most of the institutions (92.6%, n = 25) offer psycho-oncological care, mainly by psychologists (64%, n = 16) or psycho-oncologists (48%, n = 12). Fifty-two percent of patients are evaluated for sexual dysfunction as sequelae of their disease or treatment-related adverse effects. Fifty-two percent (n = 14) of institutions offer psychological support for cancer care providers. Eighty-five percent (n = 23) of all centers are interested in psycho-oncological training, and the preferred teaching tools are educational workshops (87%). The main issues of interest are sexual problems in patients with cancer, communication and interpersonal skills, responses of patients and their families, anxiety and adjustment disorders, and palliative care. Eighty-five percent (n = 17) of the 20 institutions look for research in the field of psycho-oncology, and 55% (n = 11) of those are already involved in some kind of research.
Conclusions Although psycho-oncological care is provided in most of the consulted ESGO accredited centers, almost 50% of women lack information about sexual problems. The results of the survey show the need for and interest in psycho-oncology training and research, including sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, psychological support should be offered to all cancer care providers.
- Gynecological cancer
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The authors declare that no potential conflict of interest exists.