When should I refer a patient?
It is appropriate to consider referral to the Psycho-Oncology Service when the cancer patients, carer or family member:
- Is experiencing chronic elevated distress that is impacting on pain or symptom control, or their ability to complete cancer treatment
- Is experiencing chronic elevated distress to the extent that resumption of activities of daily living or important relationships are threatened
- Has a past history of mental health concerns
- Is experiencing severe anxiety or depression
- Is hyper vigilant, experiencing panic attacks or is highly irritable
- Is describing illness specific phobias (such as needle phobia)
- Is exhibiting behaviours that are difficult to manage
- Is reporting issues with body image or sexuality concerns
- Is concerned by chronic disruption to sleep, appetite and/or concentration.
Outpatient psycho-oncology services are provided on Level 2 of the Cancer Care Centre at Wollongong hospital. Referrals for Psycho-oncology services are accepted from Medical Specialists including General Practitioners, Surgeons and Palliative Care specialists; Geneticists and Allied Health clinicians. This is a free service.
What are the inclusion and exclusion criteria for referral?
Referrals are accepted for:
- adults and young persons (15 years and over) living with cancer, residing/working/or being treated in the Illawarra or Shoalhaven.
- Family members or carers of an adults or young person (15 years and over) living with cancer, residing/working/or being treated in the Illawarra or Shoalhaven.
- Clients and family members of the Genetics Service
Appointments can be made by calling Illawarra Cancer Care reception, specifying the required appointment is for the psycho-oncology service. Patients should bring their referral letter with them to the first appointment.
For further information or to discuss a specific referral ask to speak to the psycho-oncology service.
Children and adolescents under the age of 15 years (parents may be seen by the service to discuss appropriate strategies to help the young individual).