Key Points for the Psychiatric Management of Lung Cancer Patients
- Early referral to palliative care and aggressive symptom control are essential components of the psychiatric care of lung cancer patients. Collaboration with physical therapists, pain management specialists, counselors, and family support services reduces patient distress and improves quality of life.
- Ambulatory screening of lung cancer patients is feasible and high-yield, given the frequency with which their distress needs are undetected and unmet.
- Physiologic causes of anxiety secondary to lung dysfunction must be addressed before employing more psychologically oriented interventions.
- Side effects of some psychotropics can be used to improve sleep, appetite, nausea, concentration, diarrhea, and anergia.