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A Family-Centered Approach to the Patient with Cancer 

A Family-Centered Approach to the Patient with Cancer
A Family-Centered Approach to the Patient with Cancer

Douglas S. Rait

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date: 19 December 2018

The assumption that family relationships play an important role in the care and well-being of the cancer patient may be overlooked simply because it is so universal. At the same time, the elevated role of the family as a primary unit of care in oncology settings is beginning to receive proper attention in medical and psychiatric circles, and growing evidence supports the efficacy of family interventions for patients with cancer. Family-centered, collaborative models of mental health consultation for patients with cancer are consistent with, and offer an expansion to, current patient-centered models of care in oncology settings. Normative couple and family responses to stages of cancer and its treatment are described, and premises of the family-systems model for assessment and consultation are presented. A case example illustrates how the dimensions of family development, family history, family relationships, and the family’s relationship with providers contribute to a family-centered assessment and consultation.

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