• 24 Apr 2020 11:19 AM | John Chagnon (Administrator)

    During these difficult COVID – 19 times, IPOS remains committed to promoting the highest standards of comprehensive cancer care. More than ever, we are united in our mission to promote global excellence in psychosocial care for people affected by cancer through partnerships, research, public policy, advocacy and education.

    We wish to highlight the additional burden brought to patients with cancer worldwide of having to cope with a pandemic. Patients and families are frightened about not receiving proper treatment as resources are stratified according to priorities. Isolation directives to mitigate infection risk means some patients cannot access supports to address important physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. There are fears about contracting COVID-19 when one’s immunity system is already low. Patients struggling with common physical symptoms related to their cancer or treatments may be frightened of having contracted the virus. They can be afraid of coming to the hospital, now perceived as a potential risk for their health. They may present later for conditions requiring immediate attention. They may not be able to be accompanied during treatments and important surgical procedures. Healthcare may be fragmented, as many disciplines work from home and treatments are outsourced to community settings. Patients that are hospitalized may not be allowed to have visitors, and those at the end-of-life may not be visited by their circle of family and friends, as travel bans, and hospital restrictions, prevail. Some patients may feel that they are abandoned as they are no longer benefitting from the previous reassuring structure of the oncology setting. Others feel normalized as now everyone is socially isolated and staying at home. When they had previously considered themselves as different, being at home is now a new normal, with its de-stigmatizing effect.

    We need to flexibly develop services to respond to the complex needs of patients throughout their cancer trajectory from discovery of symptoms to end-of-life care and bereavement. We have seen a rapid uptake of telemedicine and tele-conferencing allowing for needed cancer care and follow-up of oncology patients and their families. Patients and their families can now have access to cancer care from their very homes. Guidelines for telemedicine and tele-conferencing can be found here: https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/telepsychiatry/blog/apa-resources-on-telepsychiatry-and-covid-19

    As patients are presenting less to the hospital, it becomes crucial to develop new means of identifying their distress. There have been multiple initiatives of patient portals allowing for screening for distress at a distance, which appears particularly important in our pandemic times to make sure needs are met. Guidelines for screening for distress can be found here:



    Cancer care needs to be equitable. Face-to-face contact via telemedicine and screening for distress via a portal are not available for patients that do not have a computer or internet access, which may create further inequities in symptom management, functional rehabilitation, psychosocial care, and survival. We need to develop innovative solutions and services to fill this important gap in partnership with companies and other stakeholders.

    Healthcare providers have needed to readjust to a number of stressful changes in the organization of their workforce and of the healthcare system. Caring for COVID-19 patients, on the backdrop of a system with limited resources to protect them, creates a stressful context fertile to burnout and vicarious traumatisation. More than even, healthcare settings need to develop ways to nurture their workforce. Guidelines for healthcare workers ca be found here: https://www.psychiatry.org/news-room/apa-blogs/apa-blog/2020/02/coronavirus-and-mental-health-taking-care-of-ourselves-during-infectious-disease-outbreaks

    For resources on stress and coping during the coronavirus crisis, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html

    For resources on caring for children, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children.html

    Other resources:

    Dr. Melissa Henry
    Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Oncology, McGill University
    FRQS Clinician-Scientist, McGill University

    Director, Psycho-Oncology Research Group

    Lady-Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital

  • 9 Apr 2020 3:01 PM | John Chagnon (Administrator)


    1. Psychological distress in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients: an observational study comparing those at high risk of hereditary cancer with those of unknown risk

    2. Shared experiences of diagnosis and treatment of young-onset colorectal cancer: a patient-oriented qualitative study

    3. Exploring the knowledge and attitudes about cancer of older adults in Barcelona, Spain

    4. Caregivers’ perception of psychosocial issues of pediatric patients with osteosarcoma: an exploratory study

    FIND OUT MORE BY GOING TO https://journals.lww.com/jporp/pages/currenttoc.aspx

  • 12 Mar 2020 11:18 AM | John Chagnon (Administrator)

    The COVID-19 pandemic is of concern to all and has been the subject of much discussion between the members of the IPOS 2020 World Congress Scientific committee and the IPOS Board.

    We have decided to postpone the meeting which was to be held in Kyoto from 16-19 June 2020 until August 2020 as per the dates listed below.  These dates reflect the nature of the Congress which is a shared initiative between IPOS and the Japanese Psycho-Oncology Society and take into account specific religious and holiday observances in Japan.

    • Tuesday, August 11: Joint Meeting 2020 Day 1 & IPOS Board Meeting
    • Wednesday, August 12: IPOS 2020 Day 1 & Joint Meeting Day 2   
    • Thursday, August 13: IPOS 2020 Day 2
    • Friday, August 14: IPOS 2020 Day 3
    • Saturday, August 15: Academy Workshops

    The venue for the revised dates remains the same – International Conference Centre, Kyoto

    It is not possible to reschedule the Congress in Kyoto to any other time because the venue is not available. Rescheduling rather than cancelling means that IPOS does not face a financial penalty.

    The health and wellbeing of our members and the patients and communities to which they would return after the Congress is uppermost in our decision-making. We recognise that the situation is evolving rapidly and will maintain vigilance as we move towards our re-scheduled meeting in August.

    Member of the IPOS Board are enormously grateful to our colleagues from the Japanese Psycho-Oncology Society who have been both responsive and gracious throughout our discussions. Our deepest concerns are for our colleagues whose personal and professional lives have been impacted by this pandemic and our ongoing support for them, which I know will be offered by our IPOS community, is so important.

    For more information, please go to http://ipos2020.com/

  • 5 Mar 2020 10:55 AM | Deleted user

    The 4th International Conference on Integrative Oncology, ICIO2020, Kochi

    The Psycho-Oncology session was a collective work of International Conference on Integrative Oncology (ICIO) 2020, International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) and Global Homeopathy Foundation (GHF).

    It was the first time ever that a psycho-oncology session included into this international conference with over 700 attendees and 50 speakers.

    This session was coordinated by Dr. Veenavani Nallepalli, IPOS member.

    Ozan BAHCIVAN from Turkey, the Former Director of IPOS who joined the enlightened the audience on what role Psycho-Oncology plays in cancer care and also the evolution of it in medical history and also the involvement and works of IPOS. He also highlighted that we don't treat the disease but the patient as a whole, emphasising on holistic approach and also spoke about the forthcoming IPOS congress that is to be held from 16-19 June 2020 in Kyoto, Japan. 

    The session also included a video message by Dr. Jane Turner, IPOS President addressing the Congress about various domains of Psycho-social aspects of cancer care and the need of services and about the extensive works of IPOS.

    Dr. E. Vidhubala, Director of Nellai Cancer Centre emphasised on the need of early detection and screening in Primary and secondary health care to Prevent cancer. She also discussed the continuum-gaps of Cancer care.

    Dr. Surendran Veeraiah, HOD, Psycho-Oncology department, Cancer Institute, Adyar, Chennai gave the complete picture of Psycho-social aspects of Cancer care and also the need of Assessments like Pain and Distress which helps a lot in the treatment modality. He also discussed on the concerns of the caregivers and how Psycho Oncology is helpful to tackle it.

  • 2 Mar 2020 2:19 PM | John Chagnon (Administrator)

    IPOS is pleased to report that in February 2020, the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) voted to approve our continued official relations with them as a non-state actor. We are one of 66 organizations around the world with this status.

    With our support, IPOS provided feedback in January to WHO on:
    WHO Report on Cancer: Setting priorities, investing wisely and providing care for all

    We look forward to our continued relationship with WHO.

  • 2 Mar 2020 10:43 AM | John Chagnon (Administrator)

    Organizing Chair: Dr. Surendran Veeraiah
    Organizer: Department of Psycho-oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA)
    Time: 31st January & 1st February, 2020

    The International Psycho-Oncology Society Academy 2020 was held in Chennai, India from 31st January to 1st February, 2020. The Academy was organized by the Department of Psychooncology in Cancer Institute (WIA), one of the national comprehensive cancer centers in India. The focus of the Academy was on ‘Enhancing Psychosocial Practices and Research in India’ and the goal of the program was to train the practicing psycho-oncology professionals on therapeutic skills, strengthening research orientation and networking professionals across the country. The program featured significant inputs from psycho-oncologists, psychiatrists, oncologists, physiotherapists, survivors. Around 130 participants representing various cancer centers across the country attended the program and contributed enthusiastically.

    Pre-conference Workshop (Day 1)
    The Academy was declared open on 31st January with four parallel pre-conference workshops. This included workshops on Introduction to Level-1 CBT Skills and Management of Specific Symptoms- Chronic Pain, Insomnia and Fatigue by Dr. Maggie Watson, Concept development in research by Dr. Haryana Dhillon, Communication in Oncology by Prof. Richard Fielding and Implementation research: Understanding Principles and Considering Research Applications in Psycho-oncology by Dr. Sudha Sivaram. A total of 130 participants attended the pre-conference workshops with around 40 participants in each. The participants stated that the workshops were of high quality and of great learning experience.

    Conference (Day 2)
    The day 2 of the Academy was organized as a conference featuring three symposiums, two panel discussion, two plenaries and two master classes. The speakers included eminent psychooncologists, oncologists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, survivors from across the country. The sessions featured important inputs from the speakers on the psychosocial, behavioural aspects of cancer care in India with special attention to the way forward. Recent updates in psychotherapies by Dr. Maggie Watson, Emerging trends and strengthening psycho-oncology research in India by Prof. Richard Fielding, Establishing psycho-oncology collaborative study groups by Dr. Haryana Dhillon, panel discussions on communication in oncology moderated by Dr Prasanth Ganesan and rehabilitation of cancer survivors by Dr Ramanan were few sessions rated highly significant by the attendees. In addition to the scientific sessions, oral and e-poster presentations were facilitated evaluated by Dr Subathra Jeyaram, Dr Soumitra Datta and Mr M.S Satish. Around 34 abstracts were received and were evaluated anonymously by the scientific committee to be chosen for oral and e-poster presentations. Five from the abstracts reviewed were chosen as ‘Best Clinical Implication Paper’ and were awarded during the program.

    The Academy was well-received by the participants and they found the sessions intriguing, impactful and essential to their practice.

    The Academy concluded with an announcement on the APPON 7 which is to be held by Cancer Institute (WIA) in January 2021 in Chennai. The participants expressed their desire to be a part of and attend the APPON meeting in the following year.

    List of national faculties who contributed significantly towards the success of the academy:

    Dr. Jayita Deodhar
    Dr. Brindha Sitaram
    Dr. Vidhubala
    Dr. Chitra Venkateswaran
    Ms. Savita Goswami
    Dr. Mahati Chittem
    Dr. Rejiv Rajendranath
    Dr. Krishnakumar Rathinam
    Dr. Arun Seshachalam
    Dr. Ponni Sivaprakasam
    Dr. Vandana Dhamankar
    Dr. Alexander
    Dr. Arvind Krishnamurthy
    Dr. Nikita Mehra
    Dr. Anand Raja
    Dr. Sridevi
    Dr. Kalpana Balakrishnan
    Dr. Venkatesh
    Mr. Vijay Srinivasan
    Dr. Vasanth Christopher
    Dr. Jeyachandran

  • 24 Feb 2020 2:12 PM | John Chagnon (Administrator)


    I am excited to share my travel experience to Zambia to represent the International Psycho-oncology Society (IPOS) at the Zambia National Stakeholder Workshop on Childhood Cancer which took place on February 13, 2020. I would like to thank IPOS for making my travel possible on short notice and St Jude Children’s Hospital for hosting me.

    The meeting was well attended with representatives from the Zambia ministry of health, WHO country representative, International Atomic Energy Association, International Society of Paediatric Oncology, childhood cancer survivors and clinicians from neighboring African countries and world over.

    The goal of the workshop was to connect National priorities to commitments and global targets. Objectives were; to summarise current landscape and priorities for cancer control in children and adolescents in Zambia, introduce the concepts of WHO CURE All and defining core projects to accelerate progress for children and adolescents with cancer in Zambia between 2020-2023.

    The day’s event was very successful with the various stakeholders affirming their commitment towards ensuring that every child and adolescent with cancer has access to adequate treatment and care. Among the highlights was a testimony from a cancer survivor who shared her experience through the treatment process in India, she noted how difficult it was for her losing most of her friends on the ward, how her mother had to act strong, yet deep down she saw how distressed and helpless she was but had to soldier on!

    Notably, the psychosocial well-being of persons with cancer is not given as much attention especially in our African setting, but we are happy with the direction that IPOS has taken to support psycho-oncology in LMIC. I am happy to inform you that beginning of February the Zambian psychiatry team has started ward rounds to the cancer wards. Kudos!

  • 11 Feb 2020 9:29 AM | Deleted user

    On January 31, the IPOS Academy held a three day training about effective communication skills in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Eighteen participants (including physicians, nurses and psychologists) attended the training. IPOS Early Career Director, Yeva Asribabayan, developed and implemented the training program. On the first day of the training, the participants got familiar with various communication techniques and practiced their skills during the role-plays. On the second day, the training focused on building the capacity of the participants for working with difficult emotions and for the provision of bad news. On the third day, the participants got familiar with the peculiarities of the communication with paediatric patients and with the challenges of professional burnout. Furthermore, Yeva Asribabayan introduced the Balint Group model as an effective method for the prevention of burnout – which has never been done before in Kyrgyzstan. The training was initiated by First Children Hospice in Bishkek and Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan, organized with a sponsorship of IPOS. It became the first event of this kind in Kyrgyzstan.

    Photographed by Anna Ilyasova

  • 24 Jan 2020 11:08 AM | John Chagnon (Administrator)

    Register before April 1 to take advantage of the Early Bird Rate. To save even more money, be sure to activate your IPOS membership for 2020 before registering for the Congress (IPOS members receive preferred rates).

    To join IPOS for 2020, please go to: https://ipos-society.org/Membership

    To view Congress pricing, as well as to register, please go to http://ipos2020.com/registration/index.html

  • 22 Jan 2020 1:38 PM | John Chagnon (Administrator)

    You are invited to take part in a survey being conducted by run by Dr Ursula Sansom-Daly and her team at the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia investigating how end-of-life (EoL) care and communication for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer is delivered by clinicians working with AYAs, and to obtain professional consensus around what their needs/preferences are for training in EoL communication with AYAs with cancer. We are looking for multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals who have been involved with end-of-life care and communication with at least 5 patients between the ages of 15-39 years who have died from cancer.
    The questionnaire is entirely online and in two parts. The first should take approximately 20 minutes to complete, the second will be sent 8 weeks later and take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
    You will be asked questions about your demographic characteristics (e.g., your age, sex); timing of EoL communication and psychosocial issues; and what type of EoL communication-training is most needed and preferred. Survey items will cover relevant content (e.g., timing of discussions; psychosocial issues at EoL; techniques for broaching difficult topics), and format issues (e.g, length/frequency of training; modality of training e.g., face-to-face, online, etc).
    Please note, as the survey is in two parts we will ask you to provide your contact details so we can send you the second survey.
    If you are interested in participating please follow the link below to the full information statement and online survey.
    If you would like any further information about the study please contact Dr Ursula Sansom-Daly via phone (+612) 9382 3114) or email ([email protected]).
    If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of this study you should contact the Research Support Office of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee on 02 9382 3587, or email [email protected] and quote 18-104.

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