The EMOCA study is an KWF-funded project by Prof. Joost Dekker. This project aims to identify indicators distinguishing between adaptive and maladaptive emotions in patients with cancer.
The occurrence of cancer constitutes a major stressor, leading to a wide range of emotions. Patients need support from relatives, friends and caregivers to deal with these emotions. Some patients need professional mental health care in addition to support.
Unfortunately, an accurate instrument to identify patients in need of professional mental health care is not available. Existing instruments to assess emotions in patients with cancer (e.g. Distress Thermometer) fail to distinguish between adaptive (normal) and maladaptive (psychopathological) emotions. This leads to mismatches in the provision of professional psychosocial care. In order to provide appropriate mental health care, this study will identify indicators distinguishing between adaptive and maladaptive emotions in patients with cancer.