Behavioral Medicine and Informatics in the Cancer Community

  • Ellen BeckjordEmail author
  • David K. Ahern
  • Bradford Hesse


Psychosocial and behavioral approaches to cancer treatment have been demonstrated to improve clinical outcomes and are recommended by the Institute of Medicine for improving the quality of cancer treatment across the continuum of care. Information ecosystems for cancer patients and survivors are complex, and this chapter will highlight emerging consumer-facing best practices in the field of cancer informatics. After providing an overview of the current state of cancer care in the USA, we will describe the critical role that informatics plays in the delivery of cancer care. Discussion will cover the role of informatics in screening for emotional distress; in care coordination; and in survivorship care planning. We will also address challenges associated with interoperability and end with a consumer-driven view of the future in which informatics is used to an even greater effect in the service of supporting people affected by cancer.


Behavioral oncology Cancer survivorship Cancer communication Survivorship care plans Psychosocial oncology Internet of Things (IoT) Communication science Consumer empowerment 



Material in this chapter is adapted, in whole or in part, from material previously published in Oncology Informatics (David K. Ahern, Braun, Cooley, & Bickmore, 2016; Ellen Beckjord, van Londen, & Rechis, 2016; Hesse, Ahern, & Beckjord, 2016a, 2016b; Hesse, Arora, & Klein, 2016).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Beckjord
    • 1
    Email author
  • David K. Ahern
    • 2
  • Bradford Hesse
    • 3
  1. 1.Insurance Services DivisionUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Digital Behavioral Health & Informatics Research ProgramBrigham & Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Health Communication and Informatics Research BranchNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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