Tamara Klikovac

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Psycho-oncology is a well-developed field in developed countries around the world and in Europe, both theoretically and practically. Psycho-oncology refers to the provision of psychological and/or psychotherapeutic assistance and support to persons with malignant diseases and their families. Twenty-two world congresses in psycho-oncology have been held. The existence of many published books, peer reviewed journal articles, numerous courses and specialization in this area attests to the importance of progress in this field. This paper serves to highlight the development of psycho-oncology in the world, with special emphasis on the current state of the discipline in Serbia. The number of publications and scientific research in the field are still limited and the number of engaged professionals is insufficient to effectively implement psycho-oncology in the Serbian health system. Nonetheless, there is reason for optimism. Pursuant to Article 38, paragraph 1. of the Law on the Planning  System (Official  Gazette  of  RS,  No. 30/18), the  Government  of  RS  has  adopted  the  Program for the Advancement of Cancer Control in the Republic of Serbia for the period between 2020 and 2022. The Action Plan for the Implementation of the Program for the Advancement of Cancer Control pays special attention to the development and implementation of psychosocial services and their integration into oncological treatment. The plan specifically envisions the establishment of 6 and 8 psycho-oncological services and counseling centers in health institutions in the secondary/tertiary level, in which cancer patients are treated, in 2021 and 2022 respectively. If the intended plan is realized, it will be a huge step forward and the beginning of the systematic, earnest development of psycho-oncology in Serbia.


cancer patients, psycho-oncology, psycho-social aspects of care, psycho-oncological services, counseling centers

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