Monographic Section

Research and malignant mesothelioma: lines of action for clinical psychology


The purpose of this paper is to present two studies. Study 1 is a literature review on psychological needs of malignant mesothelioma (MM) patients. Study 2 is aimed at assessing how patients and caregiver experience the diagnosis. In study 1 we performed a systematic literature review; while in study 2 we performed a thematic analysis of semistructured interviews. Study 1 detected 5 psychological constructs (i.e. 1. Psychological impact of MM diagnosis; 2. Emotional aspects connected to the occupational context; 3. Coping strategies; 4. Treatment experiences; 5. Quality of life). Study 2 identified 4 themes (i.e. 1. Physical symptoms, affects, and defenses; 2. Living in or near a National Priority Contaminated Site; 3. “Nothing is like it was”; 4. “What will become of us?”). The literature review suggests a specific profile of suffering for MM, a result strengthened by the qualitative study on semi-structured interviews. The present paper highlights the lack of specific measures and clinical interventions for this distinctive population.


clinical research; malignant mesothelioma; emotional distress; clinical psychology; qualitative research

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