IPOS Fear of Cancer Recurrence Special Interest Group (FORwards)

This special interest group brings together and represents the interests of IPOS members with a special interest in Fear of Cancer Recurrence.


Below is a list of the volunteers sitting on the committee:


Allan (Ben) Smith (Chair 2019 – 2021) – Australia

Dr Ben Smith is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT), Ingham Institute and UNSW Australia. Previously Ben jointly coordinated the ConquerFear study, which found that a novel therapist-delivered intervention (ConquerFear) was effective in reducing fear of cancer recurrence. Ben is leading the development of an online version of ConquerFear to make evidence-based treatment for fear of cancer recurrence more accessible. Ben is also helping advance international research on fear of cancer recurrence through his role as deputy chair of the International Psycho-Oncology Society Fear of Cancer Recurrence Special Interest Group.



Marije van der Lee (Deputy Chair 2019 – 2021) – Netherlands

Since 2007 Marije van der Lee works as Head of the scientific research department and is part of the management team of the Helen Dowling Institute and provides patient care as registered Health psychologist. In this period her department published 97 international peer-reviewed articles. She built her own research line in clinical psycho-oncology that focuses on the effect of (e-) interventions and understanding how interventions work. She developed a national therapy evaluation system and two online therapy programs which were successfully implemented. She aims at personalizing clinical psycho-oncology interventions in the next five years and making them available for all cancer Dutch patients at risk for developing complex mental health disorders. In addition to educating healthcare workers worldwide in basic cognitive behavioral therapy for specific psycho-oncology problems and recognizing cancer patients at risk.



Brittany Mutsaers (Early Career Representative 2017 – 2021) – Canada

Brittany Mutsaers is a Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Ottawa. She is currently working on research related to characterizing the differences between clinical and non-clinical levels of fear of cancer recurrence. Her dissertation focuses on the implementation of survivorship care plans for use as a transition tool for cancer survivors receiving follow-up care in community settings. 

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