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Mental Health of Cancer Patients and Caregivers

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Behavioral and Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 4924

Special Issue Editors

School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Interests: health and mental; evidence-based practice; psychosocial oncology; social determinants of health; integrated behavioral health; quantitative methods

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Guest Editor
1. Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
2. Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Interests: stress and coping; close relationships and caregiving; oncology social work; dyadic coping; intervention research; couple-based interventions methods: dyadic data analysis, mixed methods for couple-based research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We cordially welcome your submissions to the Special Issue on “Mental Health of Cancer Patients and Caregivers” to be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. For detailed information on the journal, I refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 [1]. Thanks to continuous advances in cancer therapeutics, the aggregate five-year survival rate for all cancers has steadily increased from 50.3% to 67% between 1977 and 2013 [2]. However, cancer and its treatment bring various bio-psycho-social-spiritual and developmental challenges to cancer patients and their caregivers, contributing to a broad range of mental health concerns [3,4]. Researchers and practitioners in this field have engaged in robust efforts to advance our understanding of mental health challenges among cancer patients and caregivers, as well as to develop evidence-supported interventions to promote mental health outcomes.

This Special Issue will consider the latest investigations focusing on the mental health of cancer patients and/or caregivers. Topics to be considered in this Special Issue include but are not limited to (1) mental health etiology, biology, and genetics; (2) issues related to screening, diagnosis, and care delivery addressing the mental health needs of patients, survivors, caregivers and/or dyads; (3) the interaction/connection between social determinants of health and mental health; (4) immediate- and long-term effects of mental health issues on patient and caregiver-reported outcomes; (5) observational, cohort, and/or intervention studies with emphasis on clinical trials; (6) palliative and/or end-of-life care; and (7) individual and dyadic processes (i.e., patient and caregiver) contributing to mental health needs and resulting intervention programs and/or clinical interventions. We particularly welcome submissions that expand current literature to include the experience of BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ cancer populations, responsive to differences across the life-span and cultures, from authors outside high-income countries, as well as investigations advancing measurement, analysis and research methods for patients and caregivers.

References

[1] Cancer. Available online: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer (accessed on 14 September 2022).

[2] Cancer. Available online: https://ourworldindata.org/cancer (accessed on 14 September 2022).

[3] Kent, E.E.; Dionne-Odom, J.N. Population-Based Profile of Mental Health and Support Service Need Among Family Caregivers of Adults With Cancer. J. Oncol. Pract. 2019, 15, e122–e131.

[4] Tamura, S.; Suzuki, K.; Ito, Y.; Fukawa, A. Factors related to the resilience and mental health of adult cancer patients: a systematic review. Support Care Cancer 2021, 29, 3471–3486.

Dr. Anao Zhang
Dr. Chiara Acquati
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mental health, cancer, patients
  • survivors
  • caregivers
  • caregiver and care-recipient dyads
  • psychosocial care delivery
  • intervention research
  • social determinants of health
  • PROs measurement

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 764 KiB  
Article
A Needs Assessment Approach for Adolescent and Young Adult Sexual and Gender Diverse Cancer Survivors
by Lauren V. Ghazal, Hailey Johnston, Elisabeth Dodd, Yasmine Ramachandra, Nicholas Giallourakis, Kayla Fulginiti and Charles Kamen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(4), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21040424 - 30 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Sexual and gender diverse (SGD) adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors are an increasing and vulnerable group with unique needs that often remain unmet in the healthcare system. This paper describes the conceptualization and development of a community-based organization dedicated to serving [...] Read more.
Sexual and gender diverse (SGD) adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors are an increasing and vulnerable group with unique needs that often remain unmet in the healthcare system. This paper describes the conceptualization and development of a community-based organization dedicated to serving SGD AYAs, in addition to reporting on the results of a community-led needs assessment. A total of 56 SGD AYA community members completed the online survey. Most participants were between the ages of 26 to 33, identified as white, cisgender, bisexual women, and had hematologic malignancies. Identified unmet needs of SGD AYAs included the following: sexual health and family planning; gender affirmation; financial stability; and emotional support. Areas within the community organization were identified as gaps, areas of expansion, and assets. Results highlight the role of community and academic partnerships in improving cancer care delivery for SGD AYA cancer survivors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health of Cancer Patients and Caregivers)
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14 pages, 386 KiB  
Article
Psychosocial Experiences, Challenges, and Recommendations for Care Delivery among Partners of Breast Cancer Survivors: A Qualitative Study
by Chiara Acquati, Katharine J. Head, Kevin L. Rand, Jennifer S. Alwine, Danielle Nicole Short, Andrea A. Cohee, Victoria L. Champion and Claire Burke Draucker
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 2786; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20042786 - 04 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1896
Abstract
For women diagnosed with breast cancer, partners are consistently identified as the primary support person. Despite growing consensus about the psychosocial experience and unmet needs of cancer caregivers, limited evidence exists about strategies to offer partner-centered care across the cancer continuum. This study [...] Read more.
For women diagnosed with breast cancer, partners are consistently identified as the primary support person. Despite growing consensus about the psychosocial experience and unmet needs of cancer caregivers, limited evidence exists about strategies to offer partner-centered care across the cancer continuum. This study describes challenges endured by partners of breast cancer survivors (BCS), strategies implemented to manage these experiences, and recommendations for healthcare providers to inform targeted psychosocial care. Using convenience sampling, 22 partners of female BCS were recruited and completed semi-structured interviews. Conventional content analysis was used to code and synthesize findings. Participants described undergoing five experiences in their role as romantic partners: (a) assuming the role of caregiver, (b) becoming healthcare advocates for BCS, (c) connecting emotionally with the partner, (d) managing their own painful emotions, and (e) connecting with others for support. Experience-specific coping strategies and recommendations were identified. Romantic partners face multiple transitions across the cancer care continuum, which warrant investigation to sustain their well-being and active participation in illness management. Psychosocial interventions for this group will benefit from flexible implementation and attention to care delivery, mental health, and supportive/social needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health of Cancer Patients and Caregivers)

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10 pages, 342 KiB  
Case Report
Acceptance of Caregiver–Patient Support to Latinx Coping with Advanced Cancer (CASA) Intervention: A Caregiver Case Study
by Lianel Rosario-Ramos, Cristina Peña-Vargas and Normarie Torres-Blasco
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(6), 4996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20064996 - 12 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1087
Abstract
Latinos frequently assume caregiver roles when the need arises in their social nucleus. Because of their active role, caregivers are heavily involved in their family member’s cancer trajectory. Therefore, there is a need for culturally adapted interventions that integrate the caregiver and cancer [...] Read more.
Latinos frequently assume caregiver roles when the need arises in their social nucleus. Because of their active role, caregivers are heavily involved in their family member’s cancer trajectory. Therefore, there is a need for culturally adapted interventions that integrate the caregiver and cancer patient. The objective is to present a case study of a former caregiver’s experience and acceptance of the cultural adaptation of Caregiver–Patient Support to Latinx Coping with Advanced Cancer (CASA) intervention. We conducted a case study with a male caregiver between the ages of 20 and 30. A male caregiver expressed his experience and acceptance of a psychosocial intervention. He conveyed moderate to high acceptance of intervention components through anecdotes and opinions based on his experiences as a caregiver for multiple family members. Finally, he reported distress, but he presented little to no symptoms of caregiver burden, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. It is crucial to culturally adapt interventions that integrate caregivers when they play a big part in their loved one’s cancer journey. Integrating their perspective when adapting an intervention may assist in providing essential information that will benefit the patient and caregiver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health of Cancer Patients and Caregivers)
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