The Need for Psychosocial Interventions in Oncology Care

  • Daniëlle Elisabeth Jacoba Starreveld Maastricht Univerity


In a recent report, the College van Zorgverzekeringen (CVZ) is proposing to remove the costs for psychosocial interventions in oncology care from the basic health insurance repayments. Is this justified or are psychosocial interventions a valuable treatment for cancer patients? The prevalence of psychosocial problems is unclear in cancer patients. However, it is clear that without screening, these patients do not receive a proper treatment. Psychosocial interventions can be divided in five groups: provision of information, group therapy, training in coping skills, psychotherapy and spiritual/existential therapy. The effectiveness of these interventions is proven by some studies but refuted by other studies. Several reasons are described for this contrast in results. Despite the uncertainty of the effectiveness of these interventions some patients gain a lot from these interventions. That’s why the CVZ should keep covering these costs in their basic health insurance.