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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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Social work support in settings of crisis

Social work support in settings of crisis

Chapter:
(p.449) Chapter 38 Social work support in settings of crisis
Source:
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Carrie Lethborg

Grace Christ

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.003.0038

A diagnosis of cancer as a lived experience is universally stressful. Improvements in anti-cancer treatments and early detection programmes have meant that, cancer is a chronic illness for many. But the initial expectation for most patients is that cancer is life threatening. As a result, this disease provokes fear in many areas of patient's lives, such as fear of uncontrolled pain, isolation, loss of control and loss of self. Social work has a long history of providing support to cancer patients and their families. A therapeutic intervention cannot occur without the development of a relationship of understanding between the clinician and the client. Such a relationship, often formed in times of stress and with short time-lines, requires the use of effective and empathic communication and relational skills. This chapter focuses on the social work role during the crisis periods of the cancer experience. It describes a model that takes into account three broad aspects of a case: context, situation and meaning.

Keywords:   social work, cancer, cancer patients, crisis, context, situation, meaning, communication

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