The lead researcher of the study, Shridevi Subramaniam, stated, “We urgently need new ways of supporting cancer survivors and addressing wider aspects of wellbeing…Instead of just focusing on clinical outcome, doctors must focus equally on quality of life for cancer patients especially psychologically, financially and socially…The key message is to focus more on supporting patients throughout their whole cancer ‘journey’ especially in their lives after treatment.”
I appreciate the findings of this study. Cancer can impact every dimension of a person’s life. When we only focus on biological outcomes we often alienate patients and their families—sometimes even when we ‘succeed’ we fail. There are many complimentary paths of healing; for example mindfulness meditation can help lower biological pain.
As I often observe: everything biological is psychological and everything psychological is biological. When we care for the whole person, including the patient’s family, we provide better overall care and obtain better results. We also have better results for the medical caregivers. Most medical professionals go into healthcare because they want to help people. Sometimes though the system beats the medical staff down. Developing holistic approaches to care is not just good for patients and families, it’s better for professional caregivers as well. An article discussing this study can be found here.