To foster quality psychosocial-oncology (PSO) and supportive care to meet the diverse needs of cancer populations throughout their cancer experience by the development, dissemination, and uptake of standards and evidence-based guidelines in PSO and supportive care.



Marianne Arab
Social Work
Nova Scotia Health Authority

Marianne currently works with the Nova Scotia Health Cancer Care Program as the Provincial Manager of Psychosocial Oncology, Palliative and Spiritual Care.  Her career experience includes working as an inpatient clinical social work in the areas of Family Medicine, Oncology and Palliative Care and spans over 25 years.

She has co-lead numerous federally funded initiatives most notably the Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Program.  This Program supports paramedics to provide palliative care at home for patients in crises requiring palliative support who do not wish to be transported to their local emergency department. As well she has been instrumental in the adoption of screening for and management of distress in oncology clinics across Nova Scotia.  She has done extensive work in the areas of cancer survivorship including transitions in care. She has been an online facilitator for the IPODE continuing education course since 2010 and was a field placement supervisor and seminar facilitator for MSW and BSW on campus and distance education social work students at the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University.

Marianne is currently the Past President of the Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association and also sits on the Board of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology representing social work.

Marianne has her Bachelor of Social Work from McGill University and her Masters in Social Work from Dalhousie University.


Kimberley Thibodeau, MSW, CFT
Social Work
CUSM/MUHC Psychosocial Oncology Program

Kimberley Thibodeau, MSW/CFT, works as a couple and family therapist in PSO at the MUHC since the program was founded in 2008. Ms. Thibodeau has a Master of Social Work from McGill University, is a certified couple and family therapist and supervisor, and a registered psychotherapist. As a clinician, she provides psychosocial services to cancer patients and family members across the illness trajectory through individual, couple and family interventions. She is a recognized expert on the impact of cancer on patients and their family. Kimberley is a CAPO board member; acts as secretary, co-chair of the Clinical Advisory Committee and Advocacy Committee.


The purpose of the following guideline is to support administrators making decisions to hire health care professionals working in Psychosocial Oncology (PSO) in Canada. CAPO has undertaken this work to establish the minimum benchmarks in hiring practices for PSO programming. The framework has 10 factors to be considered in hiring practices to support the staffing formula. What makes this work unique is that the work environment and the scope of practice of the discipline needs to be well defined prior to determining other elements like work hours, direct vs indirect patient care activities, labor practices etc. A well-resourced infrastructure with efficient processes for PSO programming paired with highly committed and qualified clinicians will ensure that cancer patients and families receive services that address their needs with positive and measured outcomes.



CAPO’s Position Statement – Role of Psychosocial Oncology in Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)

Under the direction of the CAPO Clinical Advisory Committee a working group of CAPO members has developed a position paper on MAID. This position statement is intended to clarify the role of psychosocial oncology services and psychosocial oncology clinicians in responding to patient inquiries about MAID. This paper can be accessed at:

CAPO MAID Position Statement PDF

We thank Drs Doris Howell, Keith Wilson, Madeline Li, Harvey Chochinov, Eric Wasylenko, Jennifer Bell, Jacynthe Rivest and Chad Hammond for their work on this position statement.

CAPO is looking for in-kind support to translate this position statement into French. If members are aware of local resources available for in-kind translation services, please contact [email protected]


The Canadian Association of
Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO)

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Toronto, ON M5A 1S2
P. 416-968-0207
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