Psycho-oncology in Advanced Cancer: CALM Therapy a Canadien Psychological Intervention

Paulina Troncoso G., Anne Rydall, Gary Rodin


Advanced cancer is associated with numerous challenges including progressive physical deterioration that triggers fears regarding dependence and loss of autonomy, mortality and meaning of life. The continuous increase in survival in oncology patients has led them to live in a process of adaptation and continuous changes, which carries a great emotional burden for both the patient and his or her family. Many terminal cancer patients meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis or sign distress, with depressive symptoms being very frequent. This makes us think of the imperative need for appropriate interventions for people in this situation, where existential issues, restructuring of purpose, interpersonal relationships, meaning of life and the process of dying and death play a fundamental role.

The aim of this work is to describe a Canadian experience of a brief individual psychological therapy called Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM), which was developed and evaluated over the last 10 years in Toronto. CALM Therapy was designed to reduce distress and promote psychological well-being in patients with advanced cancer; this article will describe its main components, characteristics and evidence of its benefit for this population.

Keywords: advanced cáncer, psychological therapy, psychological intervention




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