Continuing Education

de Souza Institute

de Souza Institute has a partnership with Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) to provide online continuing education to support psychosocial oncology, including psychosocial care, courses in sexual health and palliative care.

For more information, please visit us online:

Through de Souza Institute, health care professionals obtain the specialized skills to guide and help cancer patients throughout their journey (prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and palliation). We use the latest information and best practices as well as cutting edge innovative learning.

Any Time, Any Place – de Souza Institute courses are offered primarily online with the occasional course through Ontario Telemedicine Network or in-person. The Institute is focused on providing de Souza health care professionals with the advanced knowledge and expertise to handle every situation from managing a reaction to chemotherapy medication, to managing anxiety and fears, or to managing pain and other symptoms.

Contact Victoria Wolno at [email protected] or call 1-844-758-6891.

IPODE: Interprofessional Psychosocial Oncology Introduction to Theory and Practice

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Psychosocial Oncology is a specialty area of cancer care that is concerned with the myriad of psychological, emotional, social and spiritual responses of persons affected by cancer. This web-based continuing education course provides an opportunity for practicing health professionals to explore common psychosocial issues that individuals and families experience when an adult family member is diagnosed with cancer. Primary emphases in the course include understanding the illness experience and assessing distress and coping from a family centered perspective. The course draws on a case-based, narrative format and provides opportunities to learn in small groups of interprofessional learners drawn from across Canada.

The course design is web-based. A range of innovative learning resources have been developed specifically for this course, including case study narratives, video-taped interviews, and dramatizations of individual, family and interprofessional situations. Cases will provide opportunities for students to learn about diverse and marginalized communities. Online discussion boards will be maintained to explore course topics.

The main mechanisms to facilitate learning in this course will entail eLearning and thirteen 1.0 hour weekly real time online conference sessions on. (“Live Classroom”) starting each January and September.

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IPODE: Sexual Health & Cancer Part 1

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this 7-week course is to assist health professionals in cancer care to integrate human sexuality in their thinking and practice. Sexual concerns are one of the most common problems encountered in cancer care settings; yet they are the least likely to be discussed unless asked. The framework of this course encourages course participants to:

  1. Address their own, and society’s, attitudes and biases towards sexuality and sexual health;
  2. Increase knowledge regarding functional and dysfunctional aspects of human sexuality; and
  3. Develop knowledge and skill with regard to assessment and educational interventions for common sexual health issues in cancer care. Attention to issues of diversity will be integrated throughout.

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IPODE: Sex Counselling in Cancer Part 2

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The framework of this course encourages course participants to develop more advanced knowledge and skill in:

  1. Evidence based interventions for common cancer related sexual issues;
  2. Analysis of case studies to develop treatment plans.
  3. Interprofessional knowledge and skill.

Attention to meeting the needs of diverse populations will be integrated throughout. Course participants are expected to present their own cases during the seminar for discussion. This course is 7 weeks in length, including one orientation week.

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IPODE: Relational Practices with Families in Oncology & Palliative Care

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Designed primarily for health care professionals in 5 disciplines (medicine, nursing, psychology, social work and spiritual care) Practitioners from other disciplines may be interested and are welcome.

Emphasis will be on exploring the interprofessional care of families experiencing cancer along the illness trajectory from diagnosis through to bereavement or long term survivorship. Using case based learning in small interprofessional groups; participants will explore a variety of key learning themes relevant to the interprofessional care of families. Themes that will be addressed include: family theory, models of family & couple counseling/ therapy, family assessment, therapeutic conversations and interventions. Case examples will be drawn from the experience of families across the cancer illness trajectory, from diagnosis through to death and dying, bereavement and long term survivorship. Small group work will allow participants to develop a rich understanding of the cancer experience from the perspective of families and to build competency in family assessment, intervention, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural safety. Attention to diversity will be integrated throughout the course.

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Cancer Survivorship: Partnering with Patients to Improve Their Experience

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This survivorship course is suitable for all regulated health care professional working with cancer survivors in the hospital or community setting. An outstanding team of interprofessional educators contributed to the content development addressing general survivorship issues common to all cancers types. The team was led by Dr. Pam Catton (MHPC, MD, FRCPC), Director, Collaborative Health, Wellness and Cancer Survivorship Centre and ELLICSR research program and Scott Secord (MSW, RSW), Director, Person Centred Perspective at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

The course takes a patient-centred approach focusing on best practices and strategies to enable patients in self-management and self-care in the three core areas of survivorship: managing their health care, dealing with the consequences of cancer and its treatment, and adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours. The course includes eight modules and is interactive. Upon completion of the course you will receive 0.5 credits in the domain of Therapeutic and Supportive Relationships.

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Addressing Compassion Fatigue, Managing Grief and Loss amongst Healthcare Professionals

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course focuses on teaching health care professionals how to recognize and assess the impact of grief and loss on their practice, and apply effective communication and coping mechanisms to reduce the risk of compassion fatigue. This course was formerly known as Managing Grief & Loss: Acknowledging Impacts and Nurturing Health Care Professionals.

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Management of Depression and Anxiety

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Management of Depression and Anxiety in Cancer course was created in collaboration between Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and de Souza Institute. This course consists of six online modules promoting an evidence-based wholistic approach to care and management of depression and anxiety in individuals with cancer. The content and structure of the course is based on two of Cancer Care Ontario’s Guides-to-Practice: Depression and Anxiety.

The following areas are covered in the modules:

  • Prevalence and risk factors for anxiety and depression in cancer patients
  • The bio-psycho-social etiology and pathophysiology of anxiety and depression
  • Elements involved in initial screening, comprehensive assessment and focused assessment
  • Assessing risk of immediate harm
  • Assessing various levels of distress severity
  • Clinical pathway based on distress severity
  • Psychosocial treatment options
  • Pharmacological treatment options
  • Practical team-based interventions across the continuum of emotional distress This course has been designed for front-line providers, including physicians; nurses; and allied health care providers.

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Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care- Oncology (EPEC-O) Course

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This one day interprofessional workshop covers a comprehensive curriculum in palliative and end-of-life care topics, including core competencies in symptom management, ethical issues and communication skills in palliative care. The program is adapted by EPEC™-O Canada from the original EPEC™-O (Education in Palliative and End-of- Life Care for Oncology) course funded by the National Cancer Institute. It is developed specifically for clinicians caring for people with cancer in hospitals, and communities.


  • College of Family Physicians of Canada – Mainpro+: This Group Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by Continuing Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto for up to 6.5 Mainpro+ credits.
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – Section 1: This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, approved by Continuing Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto up to a maximum of 6.5 hours

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Education in Palliative Care (EPC) Course Series

    The Education in Palliative Care (EPC) course series will introduce you to providing person-centred palliative care for patients living with serious illness such as cancer, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), congestive heart failure (CHF), or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). With palliative care support, patients report fewer symptoms, better quality of life, and greater satisfaction with their care.

    The Education in Palliative Care (EPC) course series consists of three courses that teach a comprehensive curriculum in palliative and end-of-life care:

    EPCA – The Palliative Approach to Care

    EPCB – Symptom Assessment and Management in Palliative Care

    EPCC – End-of-Life Care, Grief, and Loss

    For more information and to try a sample module, please go to

    International Psycho-Oncology Society
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