October’s edition of Psycho-Oncology is a special issue on equality and diversity in psycho-oncology co-edited by Dr Laura Ashley and Dr Iain Lawrie, whose Editorial for the issue is titled ‘Tackling inequalities in cancer care and outcomes: psychosocial mechanisms and targets for change’. The special issue was called for and coordinated by members of the Executive Committee of the British Psychosocial Oncology Society in response to the fact that cancer disparities persist as a global problem and priority, and to highlight the contribution that psychosocial oncology research can make in helping to tackle these.
More than 50 papers were submitted to the call for the issue in May 2015 – the most for any Psycho-Oncology special issue to date – and 148 reviewers based in 14 different countries have been involved in peer-reviewing the submissions. Sixteen of the submissions are included in the issue: three literature reviews, nine research papers, three clinical correspondence pieces and a report from the International Federation of Psycho-Oncology Societies. Collectively, the papers look at disparities in cancer care and outcomes across the cancer continuum (from screening, to symptom attribution, to diagnosis, treatment and care, and into survivorship) in relation to a number of different factors including education, ethnicity and cultural factors, residential location, age, relationship status, and the presence of comorbid health conditions.
The issue is currently free to access and is available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.v25.10/issuetoc