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MASCC 2016 | Supportive care approaches for sleep disturbances

Irma Verdonck-de Leeuw, PhD of VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands discusses sleep disturbances and supportive care approaches. There are many cancer patients who have a clinical level of sleep problems, namely insomnia and it is quite important that they receive treatment for this, as some patients can also experience fatigue or may have depressive mood disturbances alongside their insomnia, resulting in a whole cluster of symptoms that they suffer from. Dr. Leeuw highlights that there are several causes that interact with each other, for instance depression adding to sleep deprivation as the patient is ruminating all kinds of troubled thoughts. Physical causes may also be a factor exacerbating the condition, for instance, if the immune system is affected. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is mentioned, as a face to face therapy known to help patients with insomnia, however, there is a challenge with many cancer patients already having a long story of frequent hospital visits for cancer treatment, therefore becoming demotivated to go visit further care professionals. Recorded at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and International Society of Ocular Oncology (ISOO) 2016 Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer held in Adelaide, Australia.

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