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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 450-461

The Psychosocial Components of Multimodal Interventions Offered to People with Cancer Cachexia: A Scoping Review

School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales, UK

Correspondence Address:
Jane B Hopkinson
School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/apjon.apjon-219

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The supportive care of people with cancer cachexia is a rapidly evolving field. In the past decade, multimodal treatments have been developed and new multidisciplinary cachexia clinics have been established across the world. This scoping review examines the extent to which psychosocial support has become part of the multimodal management of cancer cachexia. The review draws on a systematic search of Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library for publications about people who have cancer cachexia and receive multimodal interventions. Search limits were the English language, date range January 2013 to March 2021, and adults 18 years and older. The search found 19 papers about multimodal interventions for either cancer cachexia or its defining feature involuntary weight loss that included a psychosocial component. This review found three different ways a psychosocial component of a multimodal intervention can help patients: (1) enable adherence to multimodal therapies; (2) aid emotional adaptation and coping; and (3) treat comorbid anxiety and depression. Recognizing these three different functions of psychosocial support is important because they have different mechanisms of action. Behavioral change techniques are important for enabling adherence, education in coping methods is important to alleviate stress, and cognitive reframing for the treatment of anxiety and depression. The analysis reveals that multimodal interventions for cancer cachexia with a psychosocial component can either focus on physical health or have a more holistic focus. Holistic care is considered the best practice in cancer nursing. Thus multimodal interventions that can address not only physical health problems, but psychosocial issues are consistent with high-quality nursing care.

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