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Complementary Medicine and Patient Information: the European experience
By Carla Ripamonti, recorded at TAO (Transatlantic Oncology meeting), Nov 20-21, 2014, Paris
In 2009, Carla Ripamonti created the first dedicated supportive care unit in Italy. The purpose of supportive care is to support the oncologists’ work and to implement supportive medical therapy that starts at the time of diagnosis, which is a moment of crisis for the patient, and continues throughout the whole treatment. Supportive care also includes the assessment of physical symptoms, information and communication and takes into account the emotional, social and spiritual needs of the patients. These needs can be assessed by validated scales such as the comprehensive Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) or the more specialised Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS). Carla Ripamonti also discusses dignity therapy which is a new way to communicate with the patients and practise psycho-oncology.
Carla Ripamonti, Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy