Psycho-oncological care in certified cancer centres-a nationwide analysis in Germany.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Over the last few years, a nationwide voluntary certification system for cancer centres has been established in Germany. To qualify for certification, cancer centres must provide psycho-oncological care to every patient who needs it. The aim of this study was to find out how many patients have been treated by a psycho-oncologist in the certified centres. METHODS: All cancer centres in Germany that were re-certified in 2010 provided data documenting how many patients with primary cancer received at least 30 min of psycho-oncological consultation in 2009. RESULTS: Data from n = 456 certified cancer centres were available. In the centres, a total of 36 165 patients were seen by a psycho-oncologist for at least 30 min, representing 37.3% of all patients in the centres. The highest percentage of patients who received psycho-oncological care was found in breast cancer centres (66.7%), and the lowest in prostate cancer centres (6.8%). Half of the patients (50.0%) in gynaecological cancer centres, 37.7% in colon cancer centres and 25.4% in lung cancer centres received psycho-oncological care. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with non-certified centres, the proportion of patients receiving psycho-oncological care in certified cancer centres has increased. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.