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Stress and Anxiety




  • Defines 'stress', 'anxiety' and their common causes
  • Describes specific assessment considerations
  • Guidance on how to manage symptoms
  • Identifies and explains specific anxiety related concerns
  • Provides tables and graphs to further aid and order explanations

This chapter examines stress in patients when faced with cancer and describes specific assessment considerations. It gives guidance and suggestions on how to manage common symptoms and lists and explains specific anxiety related concerns. The chapter also provides tables and graphs to further add clarification.


Contents include

  • What is stress?
    • A vicious circle of thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • What is anxiety?
    • Understanding the 'fight-or-flight' response
    • Understanding panic attacks
  • Specific assessment considerations
  • How to manage symptoms
    • Education and information giving
    • Behavioural treatments
    • Breathing skills
    • Relaxation skills
    • Cognitive challenging
    • Coping statements
    • General stress management skills
    • Pharmacotherapy
  • Specific anxiety related concerns
    • Management of panic symptoms in radiotherapy
    • Management of panic with lung disease
    • Health anxiety and the management of realistic fears
    • Excessive worry
    • Needle phobia
    • Traumatic responses
  • Putting it all together
  • Resources for health professionals and for patients
  • References
  • Resource sheet 8.1 Strategies to manage your worry
  • Resource sheet 8.2 Strategies to manage stress
  • Resource sheet 8.3 Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
  • Resource sheet 8.4 The impact of anxiety on your body
  • Resource sheet 8.5 Reaching our limit of coping
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Author / Editor Biographies

Jemma Gilchrist is a senior clinical psychologist with clinical experience in psychooncology. Since 1999 she has worked in two separate tertiary oncology services providing psychosocial care to adults with a wide range of cancer diagnoses as well as their families and carers. Jemma has experience in educating other health professionals on the role of psychosocial support and interventions in the oncology setting. In addition she is an honorary associate of the University of Sydney and provides clinical supervision to clinical psychology interns at master's level. She completed her doctorate in...

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