[Psychological Support of Cancer Patients in the Oncological Consultation]

Bull Cancer. 2007 Sep;94(9):841-5.
[Article in French]


Due to its life threatening character, a cancer diagnosis represents an existential rupture, disturbing an individual's life trajectory perceived beforehand as a continuum. As a consequence, a patient's physical, psychological, social and spiritual equilibrium may be disturbed, calling for a support by clinicians, which surpasses biomedical treatment. A key element of support relies on patient-centered communication, which not only demands technical skills, but also a reflective approach on interpersonal factors which shape the relationship, on the choice and the idealized representation of the clinician's profession as well as its limits. This article summarizes main aspects of patient-physician communication and our experience as teachers of the so-called Communication Skills Training. It provides a review on research in progress in this field and finally indicates other elements of support, which contribute to the << narrative reconstruction >> of the patient facing the rupture induced by cancer.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Death
  • Attitude to Health
  • Communication
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology* / education
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy