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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Associated with Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment 

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Associated with Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Chapter:
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Associated with Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Source:
Psycho-Oncology (3 ed.)
Author(s):

Matthew N. Doolittle

and Katherine N. DuHamel

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199363315.003.0042

Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in oncology seem consistently close to double those in the general population, and additional data are emerging suggesting significantly higher prevalence in minority populations that remain under-reported in the literature. Interventions for PTSD are also significantly under-represented in the literature, and unique aspects of cancer as a stressor suggest that future research should consider what modification of conventional treatments will be necessary in this setting. The DSM-5 de-emphasizes avoidance, which introduces a new set of cognitive criteria that are likely common causes of distress in cancer patients, so the possible impact of changing diagnostic criteria on future research is also unclear. For psycho-oncologists, the task may be to research the impact of PTSD on different demographic groups over time, to devise improved ways of identifying at-risk or symptomatic populations, and to develop treatments that might be most helpful given the special challenges of cancer.

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