The psychosocial outcomes of cancer patients may be influenced by individual-level, social and treatment centre predictors. This paper aimed to examine the extent to which individual, social and treatment centre variables have been examined as predictors or targets of intervention for psychosocial outcomes of cancer patients. Medline was searched to find studies in which the psychological outcomes of cancer patient were primary variables. Papers published in English between 1999 and 2009 that reported primary data relevant to psychosocial outcomes for cancer patients were included, with 20% randomly selected for further coding. Descriptive studies were coded for inclusion of individual, social or treatment centre variables. Intervention studies were coded to determine if the unit of intervention was the individual patient, social unit or treatment centre. After random sampling, 412 publications meeting the inclusion criteria were identified, 169 were descriptive and 243 interventions. Of the descriptive papers 95.0% included individual predictors, and 5.0% social predictors. None of the descriptive papers examined treatment centre variables as predictors of psychosocial outcomes. Similarly, none of the interventions evaluated the effectiveness of treatment centre interventions for improving psychosocial outcomes. Potential reasons for the overwhelming dominance of individual predictors and individual-focused interventions in psychosocial literature are discussed.
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- Quality of life