Serious psychological symptoms frequently accompany a progressive and/or life-threatening illness. Nevertheless, several barriers to psychiatric involvement still exist: for example, failure to recognize the limits of palliative care clinicians in addressing psychological distress, or lack of confidence among psychiatrists about their ability to be of value in caring for patients near the end of life. However, psychiatrists and other mental health specialists, such as psychologists or social workers, have now increasingly developed ways to bring their expert skills and knowledge to the care of seriously-ill patients, even as they near the final phase of life. Effective management of psychosocial and psychiatric issues often enables improvements in other domains, as evidenced by the example of reduction in physical pain that frequently follows effective treatment of depression.
Trachsel, M., Chochinov, H. M., & Irwin, S. A., (in preparation). Anxiety and fear in patients with serious illness facing the end of life. In: N. Goldstein, R. S. Morrison, & C. Woodrell (Eds.). Evidence-Based Practice of Palliative Medicine, 2nd edition. Saunders.
Jordan, A., Webb, J., Bates, N., Hirst, J., Samsel, C., Trachsel, M., & Irwin, S. A. (in preparation). Depression. In: N. Goldstein, R. S. Morrison, & C. Woodrell (Eds.). Evidence-Based Practice of Palliative Medicine, 2nd edition. Saunders.
Irwin, S. A., Hirst, J., Trachsel, M., Samsel, C., Briscoe, J., & Bates, N. (in press). Psychological and psychiatric issues in palliative care. In: N. Dimitrov (Ed.). Palliative care medicine for physician assistants: fostering resilience and managing seriously ill patients. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Irwin, S. A., Fairman, N., Samsel, C., Hirst, J., Webb, J. A., Trachsel, M. (in press). Psychological and psychiatric aspects of palliative and end-of-life care: Synergies between psycho-oncology and palliative care. In: W. Breitbart, P. Jacobsen, M. Loscalzo, P. Butow, M. Lazenby, & W. Lam (Eds.). Psycho-Oncology. 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.