Group for Innovative Cancer TreatmenDivision of Psycho-Oncology
Psycho-oncology is a composite field that seeks to clarify the anthropological side of cancer by using scientific methods from various fields such as oncology, psychiatry, psychology, immunology, endocrinology, sociology, and ethics. As the only research division in Japan specializing in mental support for cancer patients, this department works in coordination with the Department of Psycho-oncology at the East Hospital on initiatives for the development and implementation of optimal support methods for patients, parents, bereaved family members, and medical staff.
In particular, owing to Japan’s aging population, there are an increasing number of elderly patients undergoing cancer treatment. Therefore, the Department of Psycho-oncology is attempting to develop a system that can be implemented effectively at medical institutions in Japan for ensuring that elderly patients safely receive treatment and have a high quality of life during the treatment period.
The following are some examples of issues that the Department of Psycho-oncology is attempting to resolve:
1. Management Program for Delirium (Delirium Team Approach: DELTA Program):
Delirium is the most frequent psychiatric symptom seen in patients undergoing cancer treatment, and it is especially common among the elderly. In terms of safety management, in addition to increasing mortality and functional decline after a patient’s discharge from the hospital, delirium is directly related to the issue of falling. For this reason, prevention and early handling are crucial. We are developing a delirium-handling program that can be implemented in the medical care system in Japan, and are currently in the process of evaluating its effectiveness.
2. Development of a decision-making support system for medical treatment of elderly patients
In cancer treatment for the elderly, decision-making ability is important for treatment selection, and it affects factors such as tumor prognosis and pain management. We are focusing on providing the best possible decision-making support to assist patients in making the right choices for their satisfaction, and are currently working on developing support systems and verifying their efficacy.