A national campaign will build much needed capacity in psychosocial care across the country. We will provide accessible, affordable, evidence-based education in psychosocial oncology to health care professionals across the cancer continuum—in prevention, acute care and palliative care. Priority will be given to expansion of the successful IPODE (Inter-professional Psychosocial Oncology Distance Education) Program, which delivers on-line training to healthcare professionals.
The field of psychosocial care continues to evolve as research provides new insights into the impact of psychological and emotional stress on disease prevention, progression, recovery and end-of-life. We’re also learning new and more effective ways to integrate psychosocial care across the continuum of the cancer experience—to better address patient and family needs and improve quality of life.
Children, adolescents, young adults, individuals in mid-life and those in their senior years—individuals of every age are affected by cancer. Their emotional and psychosocial needs—and those of their families—are unique and they will change over time. Access to high quality, age-appropriate psychosocial resources and information can help.
Different cultures approach illness in varied way – the impact of cancer may be similar but the ways in which different groups interact with the healthcare community and deal with distress require culturally appropriate interventions.
Plans to develop innovative resources and programs to meet these specialized psychosocial needs include:
CAPO will devote monies each year to fund one to five research projects in psychosocial oncology. To minimize the costs of administering a research grant competition and maximize the funds flowing directly to research, CAPO will, in partnership with an existing national research funder such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, research will be sponsored to further develop psychosocial resources and tools to optimize the quality of life for those affected by cancer.
All cancer patients have the right to expect timely, high quality cancer care within our publicly-funded health care system, regardless of where they live. This includes psychosocial services and supportive care that addresses their psychological and emotional needs throughout the cancer journey However, awareness of these services and how they can benefit patients remains low—among patients, families and even among health care professionals. A national public awareness campaign – I am more than cancer, is planned.