Psychosocial support for patients with cancer during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented countless new challenges in cancer care. As healthcare providers strive to treat patients as effectively as possible while minimizing their risk of infection, there are also important psychosocial needs of the moment to take into consideration.
Psychosocial care is a whole-person approach to cancer care, which addresses the social, psychological, emotional, spiritual and functional aspects of the patient journey. Uncertain times make fear and anxiety more prevalent, and encouraging cancer patients and their caregivers to review effective coping strategies can be useful. It may be helpful to consider:
• Exploring mindful meditation, tai chi or yoga practices can help improve awareness and a sense of calm
• Exploring virtual support groups such as the Cancer Support Community for online support resources and staying connecting to others from the comfort and safety of one’s home
• Taking breaks from constant engagement with social media and the news. The non-stop flow of information, which is many cases may not be very positive or uplifting can be overwhelming and may increase anxiety. Taking time to disconnect and engage in activities such as reading a book or writing in a journal can help to maintain presence in the moment.
• Taking walks and getting outside for fresh air and exercise! While maintaining social distancing, of course.
See more great ideas on improving psychosocial care throughout the cancer journey from the Oncology Nursing Podcast.