screening can improve outcomes by early diagnosis. However,
screening poses risk-benefit considerations for patients.
Psychological research can shed light on decision-making
processes and help develop strategies to promote greater use of
screening, according to the authors.
• “Life After Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer in
Adulthood: Contributions From Psychosocial Oncology
Research,” by Annette L. Stanton, PhD, University of California,
Los Angeles; Julia H. Rowland, PhD, National Cancer Institute;
and Patricia A. Ganz, MD, University of California, Los Angeles.
As cancer patients transition to cancer survivors, they
encounter distinct psychosocial challenges. Survivors — an
estimated 13. 7 million in the U.S. today — face the loss of the
supportive treatment milieu and lingering effects of treatment.
With expanding attention to the psychosocial and physical
consequences of surviving illness, psychological science and
evidence-based practice are making important contributions
to addressing the pressing needs of cancer survivors. In this
article, the authors describe the major psychosocial and physical
conditions survivors face, along with promising treatments.
• “The Integration of Psychology in Pediatric Oncology
Research and Practice: Collaboration to Improve Care and
Outcomes for Children and Families,” by Anne E. Kazak, PhD,
Nemours Children’s Health System and Thomas Jefferson
University; and Robert B. Noll, PhD, University of Pittsburgh.
Childhood cancers are life-threatening diseases that are
universally distressing and potentially traumatic for children and
their families. For more than 35 years, pediatric psychologists
have partnered with pediatric oncology teams to help
understand the impact of cancer and its treatment on children
and families. After discussing the incidence of cancer in children,
its causes and the treatment approaches to pediatric oncology,
the authors present seven key contributions of psychologists to
collaborative and integrated care in pediatric cancer: managing
pain, nausea and other symptoms; understanding and reducing
neuropsychological effects; treating children in the context of
their families and other systems; applying a developmental
perspective; identifying competence and vulnerability;
integrating psychological knowledge into decision-making
and other clinical care issues; and facilitating the transition to
palliative care and bereavement, when necessary.
• “Decision Making and Cancer,” by Valerie F. Reyna, PhD,
Cornell University; Wendy L. Nelson, PhD, National Cancer
Institute; Paul K. Han, MD, Maine Medical Center; and Michael
P. Pignone, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The authors review decision-making along the cancer
continuum in the context of a system where patients are
encouraged to take a more active role in their health care. They
discuss challenges to achieving informed and shared decision-
making, including cognitive limitations and emotional factors,
but argue that understanding the mechanisms of decision-
making offers hope for improving decision support. n
APA members can access the issue by visiting http://psycnet.apa.
Kim I. Mills is deputy executive director of APA’s Public and
Member Communications Directorate.