Management of Depression and Anxiety in Cancer

For nearly a decade, de Souza Institute has been offering continuing professional development courses to healthcare professionals, to enhance their knowledge and competency and give them tools to provide the best possible cancer and/or palliative care. With online course offerings, participants can start at any time, from anywhere! Join over 10,000 healthcare professionals who have learned with de Souza.

IPOS Members receive 10% off until Nov 1 on the below course with a coupon code. To receive the coupon code, please email [email protected]

“This course has received positive feedback and is led by one of our IPOS members who has been engaged in both research and guideline development for depression”–Dr. Mary Jane Esplen, Executive Director de Souza Institute, Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, U of Toronto

The Management of Depression and Anxiety in Cancer course was authored by Dr. Madeline Li. This course consists of six online modules and offers 11.5 CME learning hours. It includes recommendations from the 2015 Pan-Canadian Practice Guidelines ( Using self-directed learning and interactive activities, the course provides an in-depth review of the bio-psycho-social etiology and pathophysiology of anxiety and depression in cancer; clinical pearls and video demonstrations on how to assess risk of immediate harm; clinical pathway based on distress severity; and psychosocial and pharmacological treatment options.

Visit the course webpage for additional details, including accreditation information.

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We need your financial support for our 2018 Low-to-Middle Income Professional Training Academy (2018 RTA for LMIC In Hong Kong)

IPOS is holding a special training academy for professionals from low-to-middle income countries this fall in Hong Kong. At this time, we are bringing 18 scholars to Hong Kong for this amazing education experience that is sure to benefit many professionals and patients in their local communities.

Right now we are in need of $2,700 US in order to ensure all 18 participants can fully participate. Your help is needed – you can help make a difference in these communities! Fund are needed for:

• Training materials and support
• Travel & Hotel accommodation
• Congress and faculty fees and expenses

IPOS is accepting donations online from $1 to as much as you can spare. It’s easy to donate, and secure. With a credit card, you can donate online by going to

Thanks from your friends and partners at IPOS

Congratulations to the IPOS 2018 Award Winners!

2018 Arthur M. Sutherland Award and Memorial Lecture Recipient

Professor Richard Fielding, BA (Hons), Dip Clin Psych, PhD (Hong Kong)

Richard Fielding graduated in Psychology & Zoology from the University of London in 1974, completed his clinical psychology training in Manchester establishing one of the first cardiac rehabilitation programmes and support groups for women with breast cancer in the UK. After finishing a PhD from the University of Sheffield in medical psychology, he moved east, joining HKU as Assistant Professor in Medical Psychology in 1982. His research interests include social aspects of cancer and optimization of care for patients with chronic illness. He retired from full-time academia in 2017 but remains Honourary Professor of Medical Psychology in Public Health. He was formerly Head of the Behavioural Sciences Unit, and Director of CePORT, the Centre for Psycho-Oncology Research & Training, and of the Health Behaviour Research Group in the School of Public Health at HKU. Professor Fielding is on the Editorial Boards of the journals Psycho-Oncology, Health Psychology and Public Health, amongst others and has authored over 220 peer-reviewed papers, books and chapters. He is a recipient of the BMA Medical Book of the Year Award for his text on Clinical Communication Skills and has served in various board and committee positions of the International Psycho-Oncology Society, and is a founder member of the Asia-Pacific Psycho-Oncology Network. He is currently co-Chair of the Scientific Committee of the 2018 World Congress of Psycho-Oncology.

2018 Bernard Fox Memorial Award Recipient

Professor Brian Kelly, BMed (Newcastle), PhD, FRANZCP, FAChPM (Australia)

Professor Brian Kelly is Dean of Medicine – Joint Medical Program, Head of the School of Medicine and Public Health and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has a longstanding background in clinical research addressing the psychosocial aspects of cancer and palliative care. Prof Kelly has undertaken large scale longitudinal cohort and intervention studies across mental health, palliative and end-of-life care, and psycho-oncology including research to explore ways to improve identification of psychosocial needs, health service models in psycho-oncology and integration of psychosocial care into cancer services. He has a broad interest in the strategies to improve education and support of health professionals in oncology and palliative care, including methods of clinical supervision and support, education in communication skills, and addressing the impact of care on clinicians. He has conducted research focussed on the patterns of psychiatric symptoms and disorder experienced by people with cancer, the doctor-patient relationship in end-of-life care in cancer, and longitudinal studies of bereavement in the cancer context, focussing on family and caregiver outcomes. His experience also extends to research and clinical service development addressing health care needs and services in rural and remote regions, and the psychosocial needs of Indigenous people with cancer. He extensive experience as a clinician in the field of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry with a focus on oncology and palliative care. Prof Kelly has contributed to national and international leadership roles including the Australian Psycho-oncology Co-operative Research Group and Chair of the IPOS Governance Committee. As Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oncology, with the Cummings School of Medicine, University of Calgary and Tom Baker Cancer Centre, he has also played a leadership role in the promotion of a unique cross-national collaboration in Psycho-oncology research.

2018 Noemi Fisman Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence Recipient

Dr. Lili Tang, MD (China)

Dr. Lili Tang is the Director of the Department of Psycho-Oncology in Peking University Cancer Hospital. She is also the first psychiatrist involving in palliative care and psycho-oncology in Mainland China. In 2005, Dr. Tang went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Tom Baker Cancer center as a visiting scholar. In these two famous Cancer Center, Dr. Tang gained lots of experience and guidance. She provides symptom management and psychotherapy for both outpatients and inpatients. During over last two decades, she and her team have served more than 20000 cancer patients. She edited the first textbook of Psycho-oncology in 2012 and set up curriculum on psycho-oncology for postgraduate students majoring in Clinical oncology in Peking University in 2015. She has been the president of Chinese Psycho-Oncology Society (CPOS) and Beijing Psycho-Oncology Society (BPOS) since 2013. With her effort, CPOS has been developing rapidly and become an academic organization with more than 2000 members. Under her leadership, CPOS helped twenty caner hospitals set up psychosocial services, distributed in 18/34 provinces in China. In 2016, under her advocacy and organization, CPOS published the first Chinese Psychosocial Oncology Therapy Guidelines for Cancer patient in China, which represented a milestone in the development of Chinese psycho-oncology clinical practice. Supported by the funding from Chinese government, Dr. Lili Tang has built international collaboration in Asian, America, Canada and Australia to hold trainings on psycho-oncology, palliative care and doctor-patient communication all over the country and to conduct researches in these fields and her department has been evaluated as the model Unit of Chinese standardized training of psychosocial service and doctor-patient communication in cancer patients (2015.12-2020.12).

2018 Hiroomi Kawano New Investigator Award Recipient

Dr. Fiona Schulte, PhD (Canada)

Fiona Schulte is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology, Division of Psychosocial Oncology in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She is also a registered psychologist in the Hematology, Oncology and Transplant Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Fiona is Vice-President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology and a member of a number of national and international committees focused on improving the care of pediatric and adolescent cancer patients, survivors and their families. Fiona’s research is broadly interested in enhancing the patient and family experience for patients diagnosed with cancer and improving the psychosocial late effects of childhood cancer survivors. She has been recognized for her research by receiving an International Society of Pediatric Oncology Young Investigator Award and Calgary’s Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40.

2018 IPOS Fear of Cancer Recurrence Special Interest Group (FORwards)

This special interest group brings together and represent 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:

Sophie Lebel (Chair 2017 – 2019) – Canada

Dr. Sophie Lebel is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa in the School of Psychology. She is also a Clinical Psychologist offering services to individuals coping with cancer and their caregivers. To date she has published 48 papers and has given over 140 conference presentations and workshops. Her research focus is on cancer survivorship, especially fear of cancer recurrence, stigma, sexuality, dyadic adjustment, and fatigue. As part of her work on fear of cancer recurrence, she has validated the English version of the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory, examined the impact of fear of cancer recurrence in young women, and its costs to the medical system. She created a group cognitive-existential intervention to address this fear that was pilot-tested in women with breast or ovarian cancer and later adapted to an individual version. She is currently finishing a randomized controlled trial of this intervention with women with gynecological or breast cancer. Some of her current work involves distinguishing between clinical vs. normal fear of cancer recurrence.

Allan (Ben) Smith (Deputy Chair 2017 – 2019) – 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 the International Psycho-Oncology Society Fear of Cancer Recurrence Special Interest Group.

Nadine Kasparian (Secretary 2017 – 2019) – Australia

Nadine Kasparian is an Associate Professor in Medicine at UNSW Sydney, and Head of Medical Psychology at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Cardiac Service. She currently holds two prestigious fellowships – a National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellowship, and a Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice from the Commonwealth Fund.

Nadine has over 100 published outputs, including articles in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, JAMA Internal Medicine and Genetics in Medicine. She has secured over $20 million in competitive grant funding, delivered over 150 conference presentations, and is the recipient of 26 research awards. She is an executive member of 10 national or international committees, founder and chair of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand’s Mental Health Care Working Group, and inaugural co-chair of the SPHERE Mindgardens Clinical Academic Group focused on reducing the burden of mental illness in children and young people. Nadine is also a practicing clinician and from September 2018, she will spend 12 months working at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Nina Moeller Tauber (Early Career Representative 2017 – 2019) – Denmark

Nina Moeller Tauber, Msc. in Psychology, is PhD fellow at the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus University. Nina is currently translating an Australian therapist-delivered intervention for fear of cancer recurrence (ConquerFear) into Danish and developing a group delivered version of the treatment, which will be evaluated in a randomised controlled trial. As a part of FORwards, Nina is also coordinating a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of psychological intervention on fear of cancer recurrence in collaboration with other members of this special interest group.

Webcast Recording: Meaning Centred Psychotherapy in Cancer Patients

Presenter: William Breitbart MD, Chairman, Jimmie C. Holland Chair in Psychiatric Oncology; Attending Psychiatrist, Psychiatry Service, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Items discussed:

  1. The relationship between meaning and psychological and spiritual well being.
  2. The structure, firms and processes of Meaning Centered Psychotherapy-an intervention designed to sustain or enhance a patient’s sense of meaning.
  3. Rvidence from 4 RCTs demonstrating the efficacy of Meaning Centered Psychotherapy in both Group and Individual formats.
  4. Adaptations of Meaning Centered Psychotherapy for survivors, caregivers, and bereavement.
  5. Opportunities for advanced training in Meaning Centered Psychotherapy.

This recording is approximately 57 minutes in length. IPOS Members can request a certificate of completion once the webcast survey has completed the webcast survey.

The recording must be opened and viewed in the Adobe Connect application.

Webcast purchase options:

  • FREE: Current IPOS Members (members will be asked to input their individual IPOS Member Password (same as used to access IPOS members only section of website) in order to access. If you need it sent to you, please email [email protected].
  • $15 US: Non-members

Not a current member of IPOS? Find out more by going to

Webcast Recording: Can you really ‘Conquer’ Fear of Cancer Recurrence?

Presenter: Prof Phyllis Butow BA, Hons(DipEd) M Clin Psych, MPH, PhD, Professor of Health Psychology, University of Sydney Australia

Items discussed:

  1. Definition, prevalence, time-course, and impact of fear of cancer recurrence (FCR)
  2. Theoretical approaches, models and frameworks
  3. Interventions and evidence
  4. Future directions and how to get involved.

Recorded on July 6, 2018. This recording is approximately 33 minutes in length. IPOS Members can request a certificate of completion once the webcast participant has completed the webcast survey.

The recording must be opened and viewed in the Adobe Connect application.

Webcast purchase options:

  • FREE: Current IPOS Members (members will be asked to input their individual IPOS Member Password (same as used to access IPOS members only section of website) in order to access. If you need it sent to you, please email [email protected].
  • $15 US: Non-members

Not a current member of IPOS? Find out more by going to

2018 IPOS Early Career Professionals in Psycho-Oncology (ECPP) Committee

This special interest group brings together and represent the interests of IPOS members who are early in their career and wants to provide a platform through which they can find and support each other.

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

Dr Michelle Peate (Committee Chair), Post-doctoral Researcher, Australia.

Research interests:  decision-making, side-effects of cancer treatment, and survivorship issues.

Michelle is a National Breast Cancer Foundation Early Career Research Fellow who leads the Psychosocial Health and Wellbeing Research (emPoWeR) Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal Women’s Hospital, University of Melbourne. Her main goals involve the development of resources for people who need them. Her research portfolio has involved the development and implementation of a number of patient resources, including a fertility-related decision aid for young women with early breast cancer and a booklet on breast cancer and early menopause. Michelle is also involved in clinical practice guideline development and the integration of psychosocial care. She was also involved in pioneering the development and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures in Psycho-oncology, which has given her a ‘whole’ view of the aspects of research. Her current projects are looking at developing interventions for fertility preservation decisions in young women with breast cancer with low health literacy and in the paediatric cancer setting, infertility risk calculation in young women with breast cancer, and managing sexual dysfunction and menopausal symptoms after cancer.

Dr Sigrun Vehling (Deputy Chair), Post-doctoral Researcher, Germany.

Research interests: existential issues in cancer, specifically demoralization, sense of dignity and meaning-focused coping.

Sigrun is a post-doctoral researcher from Hamburg, Germany and working at the Department of Medical Psychology of the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf. She received her PhD in 2013 under the supervision of Anja Mehnert. Sigrun has been the principal investigator of a longitudinal study investigating sources of meaning, meaning-focused coping and positive and negative life change in patients with lung and gynaecological cancer as well as long-term survivors of testicular cancer. Her research particularly aims to delineate the relationships between different conceptual approaches to existential challenges and resources and their role for psychological adjustment.

Dr Mahati Chittem, Assistant Professor of Health and Medical Psychology, India.

Research interests: communication, illness representations, cultural aspects of care, medial decision-making and end-of-life issues.

Mahati is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Liberal Arts at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH), Hyderabad, India where she teaches and conducts research within the fields of psycho-oncology and other chronic diseases. Mahati’s main goals are to raise awareness about psycho-oncology within India as well as to put India on the global psycho-oncology map. Using mixed methods, her research group focuses on topics such as illness perceptions and lay understandings of cancer, communication, doctor-patient-caregiver relationship, end-of-life decision-making, help-seeking, and cancer survivorship. Mahati has successfully convened two IPOS Academies on communication skills in Hyderabad (2015) and identifying and managing psychological distress (2016) and is the founder and chair of the Hyderabad Psycho-oncology Working Group (HPWG). She received the Asia-Pacific Psycho-oncology Network’s (APPON) Young Investigator Award (2014) for her contributions to psycho-oncology in India and in 2016 received the Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award from the APA to visit the Comskils lab in MSKCC, New York.

Mr Philip Odiyo Ouma

Patient support manager and clinical psychologist, Kenya. 

Research interests: spirituality, culture, post cancer identity.

Philip Odiyo Ouma is a Clinical Psychology Doctoral candidate at the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. Philip’s research focus is on quality of life, survivorship and post treatment adjustment in childhood cancer patients and their families. He completed the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) International Cancer Technology Transfer Fellowship (ICRETT) at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA. He is also a member of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology – Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries Global Taskforce and a Fellow at the Association of UICC Fellows. He is very passionate about mainstreaming survivorship care in Kenya and Africa. He is currently the Patient Support Manager at Faraja Cancer Support Trust at Cancer Care Kenya in Nairobi

Mr Ozan Bahcivan (IPOS Early Career Director), PhD Candidate, Health Psychologist/Psycho-Oncologist, Ankara Baskent University Hospital, Turkey.

Research interests: Coping with cancer, communication, illness perception, cross-cultural comparisons, medical decision-making and palliative care.

Ozan is a Health Psychologist/Psycho-Oncologist in the Department of Medical Oncology at Ankara Baskent University, Turkey. Also completing his doctoral studies in Clinical Health Psychology program at the Barcelona University in Spain. He has an affiliation as a supervisor consultant with Family Haven/SA Pregnancy and Parenting Counselling Services in Adelaide, Australia. Ozan’s main goals are to raise awareness about psycho-oncology within Turkey and increase the awareness of psycho-social needs of cancer care. His research projects have focussed on cultural perception of illness, quality of life, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by cancer patients as well as adaption of psycho-oncological clinical tools to Turkish language and population. He is currently developing and adapting psycho-oncological clinical tools to be used among Turkish population. In fact, he is interested in developing culturally appropriate guidelines and brochures for Turkish cancer patients and their care givers, he is also hoping to contribute other relevant guidelines and brochures internationally. Ozan has elected as the Early Career Director of IPOS between the years of 2017 – 2019. By taking this position, Ozan aims to collaborate and work along with other early psycho-oncologists to enhance their knowledge about psycho social cancer care internationally.

Dr Helena Lewis-Smith, Research Fellow, The United Kingdom.

Research interests: body image, sociocultural influences, intervention development, cross-cultural research.

Helena is a post-doctoral researcher working at the Centre for Appearance Research, at the University of the West of England, in the UK. Her PhD focused on developing and evaluating a body image intervention for women with breast cancer, by uniting the fields of psycho-oncology and body image to inform knowledge and practice. Her overall goal is to promote positive body image and acceptance of diversity of appearance at a global scale. Her current projects include exploring sociocultural and psychological influences which foster positive body image among women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer, and evaluating a CBT-based group intervention and a yoga-based intervention to promote positive body image and psychosocial wellbeing among breast cancer survivors.

Dr. Julia A. Andre, Chartered Psychologist (BPS) at Life Cancer Care in Hong Kong.

Research Interest: negativity bias, depression, psycho-somatic disorders integrated/multidisciplinary cancer care

Julia A. Andre studied Clinical Psychology at Radboud University in Nijmegen (NL), followed by a Research Master in Cognitive Neuroscience with the specialisation in Psychopathology and Clinical Training at Maastricht University (NL) and finished her PhD in 2016 at the Department of Psychology at Hong Kong University. Currently, she works at ‘Life Cancer Care’ as the leading psychologist in a fully integrated cancer centre in Hong Kong that combines complementary, alternative and conventional treatments to archive the best outcome for the patient and provides the essential knowledge and psychological support needed for true healing. Individual and group cancer counselling is offered to cancer patients at various stages with a great focus on stress management, cognitive restructuring, pain management/coping, decision making, and exploration/communication of needs. Currently, the team is also working on group family counselling sessions. Her aim is to spread the awareness and importance of psycho-oncology in Asia and to offer cancer patients and their family the opportunity to share their thoughts and worries and support them with their increased level of distress. She also wants to work to reduce the stigma and normalise the visit with a psychologist within the integrated cancer treatment programme.

Ms Eden Robertson, PhD student, Australia.

Research interests: eHealth, decision-making, decision aids, pediatric oncology, communication.

Eden Robertson is a trained psycho-oncology researcher, having worked as a research officer at the Behavioural Sciences Unit, Kids Cancer Centre since 2014. Whilst working at the Behavioural Sciences Unit, Eden was responsible for the daily coordination of two RCTs evaluating the feasibility and efficacy of online videoconferencing interventions for adolescent/young adult cancer survivors, and parents, in adjusting to life after cancer.

As of 2016, Eden begun her PhD with UNSW Medicine. Her PhD aims to develop and evaluate the first world-wide online decision aid (‘Delta’) for parents and adolescents with cancer deciding whether or not to enrol in a paediatric oncology clinical trial. Eden has utilised innovative technologies to develop her decision aid, including the Agile process of web-development, eye-tracking analyses and think-aloud interviews.

Miss Danielle Wing Lam Ng, PhD student, Hong Kong.

Research interests: fear of cancer recurrence, cognitive bias, survivorship issues, psychosocial adaptation.

Danielle is a PhD candidate in the School of public health at the University of Hong Kong. Her research centers on cognitive biases, for example biases in attention allocation and stimulus interpretation. It focuses on how they contribute to psychosocial adaptation patterns during active treatment and throughout cancer survivorship.  Her research interest also lies in therapeutic interventions with the focus on lowering the risk for chronic psychological distress (particularly, fear of cancer recurrence). Currently, she is exploring the role of cognitive biases in relation to psychological distress variability in patients with breast or colorectal cancer.

Psycho-Oncology (Wiley): Introducing Registered Reports

What are Registered Reports?

Registered Reports are a new form of empirical article in which the methods and proposed analyses are preregistered and reviewed prior to research being conducted. The cornerstone of the Registered Reports format is that a significant part of the manuscript will be assessed prior to data collection, with the highest quality submissions accepted in advance. This format is designed to minimize bias in deductive science, while also allowing complete flexibility to conduct exploratory (unregistered) analyses and report serendipitous findings Psycho-Oncology is pleased to announce that the journal now accepts Registered Reports. Find out more.

Why publish a Registered Report in Psycho-Oncology?

  1. Benefit from peer review prior to conducting your experiment, data collection and analysis, helping to identify any issues with the study methodology
  2. Initial presentation of your research study design will be published after in-principle acceptance followed by full paper publication after further analysis and peer review
  3. Improve the potential impact of your research, with the knowledge that your research methodology has been independently reviewed

Find out why Registered Reports are important.

How do Registered Reports work?

  1. Submit your research question and study design
  2. The Psycho-Oncology editorial team will then send suitable submissions for peer review
  3. Your article will be rejected or accepted in principle for publication
  4. If your research is accepted, your study design will then be published in the journal
  5. Conduct your study and submit your final article for re-review
  6. If your study matches the approved research plan and draws appropriate conclusions, it will be published, regardless of the findings
  7. The final published article will be linked to your original, published study design

Find out more.

Submit your Registered Report.


Now accepting 2020 IPOS World Congress Bids

For the 2020 Congress applications, submissions are due by September 30, 2018.

The International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) World Congress brings together psycho-oncology practitioners and scientists to build and develop thriving scientific societies, healthcare agencies and academic institutions in all parts of the world and to integrate their knowledge toward a common language of accepted standards in comprehensive cancer care. During the World Congress, members of the international psycho-oncology community have the opportunity to share and learn about new research and best practices in the field. IPOS aims to establish culturally specific standards of psychosocial care and cancer control policy in every nation represented at the World Congress by inspiring attendees to apply their new knowledge in their respective countries.

Two upcoming World Congresses:

2018: October 31 to November 2, Hong Kong
2019: September 23-26, Banff, Canada

The hosting organization benefits from global visibility and recognition as a key global player in the development of psycho-oncology.

Click here for the official document: Expression of Interest and Proposal Submission Requirements for Hosting the IPOS World Congress of Psycho-Oncology

2018 IPOS World Congress Abstract Submission Results

We have finished the review of abstracts and sent out notification of results to the authors. In case you are not able to locate your notification, please login to and check for your abstract results.

As a reminder, registration for the conference is a requirement for ALL presenting authors. Registration must be done online on or before 30 June 2018 through the same system of abstract submission at Details of the presentation schedule and format will be announced in due course.

The abstract will be automatically withdrawn if no registration for presenting author is received on or before 30 June 2018.