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

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

If you are interested in becoming involved with this special interest group, please email [email protected] with your name. Please note, only current IPOS members are able to join this special interest group.

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

Dr Helena Lewis-Smith (Chair), Senior Research Fellow, The UK.

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

Helena is an applied health psychology researcher known for exploring body image and developing global interventions in education, community and clinical settings with children and adults. She is passionate about promoting positive body image among cancer patients and survivors and works on several collaborative projects in this area. These include the development and evaluation of body acceptance programmes (e.g., CBT, yoga) for breast cancer survivors, identifying protective sociocultural factors that promote body acceptance, and understanding decision making regarding prostheses among testicular cancer patients. Skilled in translating research into practice and social impact, Helena has worked and consulted with a wide range of businesses, health organisations, and charitable trusts. These have included Unilever, Cartoon Network, NHS England, Macmillan, Breast Cancer Care, Women in Sport, and Playmob.

Dr Danielle Wing Lam Ng, Post-doctoral fellow, Hong Kong.

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

Danielle is a post-doctoral fellow in the School of public health at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interest lies in psychosocial adaptation patterns and service optimization in cancer survivorship. She is particularly passionate about exploring the process of adjustment in cancer patients, understanding the role of cognition in the development, maintenance, prevention and treatment of psychological maladaptation following cancer diagnosis, and examining the efficacy of a culturally adapted metacognitive-based intervention in the management of chronic psychological distress including fear of cancer recurrence.

Mr. Ray Andrade NascimentoPsychologist, MSc student, Brazil.

Research interests: children and adolescents with cancer, palliative care, psychosocial interventions in oncology, psychosocial aspects of cancer, assessment tools in oncology.

Ray is a psychologist who works as a volunteer at a cancer non-governmental organization, LUCCA (Luta Contra o Cancer), there, he provides psychosocial support to cancer patients, their families and also to the staff on organization. He is currently working on his master’s degree in Psychology at Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, where he’s conducting his dissertation on psychosocial interventions that are used by psychologists in children with cancer around the globe.  He is very passionate about providing psychosocial support to patients with cancer, and their families. He hopes to contribute and expand the field on psycho-oncology in Brazil.  

Dr Zoë Moon, Postdoctoral Research Associate, King’s College London, UK

Research interests: medication adherence, cancer survivorship, intervention development, e-health, women’s health. 

Zoë is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Health Psychology Section, Institute for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at King’s College London. She is currently running a large study trialling an e-health intervention to support breast cancer survivors prescribed hormone therapy. Zoë also conducts research exploring the role of symptom beliefs, expectations and attributions in symptom experiences, and investigating ways to improve symptom management in cancer survivors. She is also interested in cancer disparities and is looking at ways to support patients from low income or minority ethnic groups who may face poorer outcomes.

Dr Anna Ugalde, Senior Research Fellow, Australia

Research interests: Health services research, psychosocial interventions, caregivers and family, evaluations of models of care, implementation science.

Anna is a senior research fellow at Deakin University in Australia. Her research program focuses on the experience of people with cancer and their caregivers, including systematic reviews, qualitative studies, intervention trials and quantitative assessment. She has also conducted research on understanding how models of care can be optimised, in areas including peer support, shared care, telephone support services, referral pathways for cancer survivors and cancer care coordination. Recently her research program has included implementation science and health services research. She is a current recipient of a Victorian Cancer Agency Health Services Research Fellowship for a project implementing best practice smoking cessation support in rural areas, and she recently completed the Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer (TIDIRC) course. This program of research is embedded into clinical and community settings, with partnerships and collaborations across several health care organisations.

Yeva Asribabayan (IPOS Early Career Director), Clinical Psychologist, Armenia.

Research interests: communication, truth-telling, clinician wellbeing, cancer myths and stereotypes

Yeva is the co-founder and the director of the Armenian Psycho-Oncology Association. She works with adult cancer patients in the Mikayelyan University Clinic. In addition to her practice as a psychotherapist, Yeva coordinates the clinical observership of psychology students in the clinic and supervises their research projects.  Alongside her work at the clinic, Yeva teaches several graduate and undergraduate courses at the Yerevan State University (YSU) Department of Clinical Psychology. Yeva is passionately involved in the development and advancement of palliative care in Armenia. Together with her colleagues at the YSU Center of Applied Psychology, she developed an academic course on Palliative Psychology, which has become a part of the Clinical Psychology Master’s Program at YSU. Currently, they are working on the first Master’s Program in Palliative Care in Armenia.  Additionally, Yeva co-authored two manuals on palliative psychology. Currently, she manages a project aimed at developing leadership in palliative care in Armenia.  At present, her research is focused on the prevalence of burnout among oncologists in Armenia and information preferences in oncology among patients and caregivers.

Dr Ursula Sansom-Daly (Deputy Chair), Post-doctoral research fellow and clinical psychologist, Australia.

Research interests: Adolescents and young adults, mental health in survivorship, telehealth/eHealth interventions, end-of-life communication, clinician training and wellbeing.

Ursula is a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Lecturer at the School of Women’s and Children’s Health, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia. Ursula is also the Clinical Psychologist for Sydney Youth Cancer Service, the leading clinical team for the treatment and care of adolescents and young adults aged 15-25 years with cancer in Sydney. Reflecting her dual clinical-research roles, Ursula focuses on applying evidence-based psychological models and methods to understand, and address, mental health issues among adolescents and young adults with cancer. Her research spans the cancer trajectory, from diagnosis through to survivorship and end-of-life. For the past 5 years, she has led two large national randomised-controlled trials, ‘Recapture Life’ and ‘Cascade’, evaluating the feasibility and efficacy of online, group-based videoconferencing interventions for adolescent/young adult cancer survivors, and parents, in adjusting to life after cancer. Ursula also has a growing research program focused on improving end-of-life communication with young people with life-limiting illnesses. She is passionate about clinically-relevant research that can directly improve cancer patients/survivors experiences, and is currently partnering with several community-based organisations including Canteen Australia, Cancer Council New South Wales, and Redkite.

Ms Diana CorreiaPsychiatrist with specialization in Psycho-Oncology, Portugal.

Diana currently works at Hospital Matosinhos and her areas of intervention are liaison psychiatry with special focus in neuropsychiatry and consultation of psycho-oncology, major depression,cognitive-behavioral and family therapies, and Balint Groups. Diana has previously participated in the research project "Genetics of Major Depression: Pharmacogenomics and Molecular Epidemiology" and is a co-author of scientific papers published in national and international indexed journals. Diana is a member of the Editorial Committee of the Journal of the Portuguese Group of Liaison Psychiatry, and member of the Portuguese Academy of Psycho-Oncology, of the Portuguese Society of Family Therapy and of the Portuguese Group of Liaison Psychiatry.She collaborates in the INNOVBC project as co-investigator.

Dr Mamsau Twalib Ngoma, Clinical Oncologist and Lecturer, Tanzania.

Research Interests:  Psycho oncology, clinical cancer research and implementation science.

Mamsau is a clinical oncologist working in East Africa, Tanzania. Her expertise includes both medical and radiation oncology. She treats both adult and paediatric cancer patients. She is passionate about psycho oncology and wants all cancer patients to be treated in totality considering not only their physical wellbeing but also psychosocial wellbeing using multidisciplinary patient care. She is an Honorary Lecturer at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences; she teaches both undergraduates and postgraduates (Clinical Oncology residents) she is involved with mentoring students and supervising research. She is a member of the Ocean Road Cancer Institute academics, research, publications and ethical committee. She is also the founder of the ORCI Psycho oncology team and is among the coordinators of the ORCI Breast Cancer Support Group. She has been involved in the development of the National Cancer Treatment Guideline. And currently she is a co-investigator in a series of studies looking at the uptake of the guideline, clinical impact of a guideline implementation strategy on cervical/breast/colorectal cancer management at a national cancer referral center in Tanzania. She is a principle investigator in ongoing research on cervical cancer and psycho oncology.

Dr Cristina Sade Botto,  Chilean Psychiatrist with Research Fellowship, Chili.

Research interests: Implementation research, Transcultural psychiatry.

Cristina is currently starting working as a liaison psychiatrist in the Psycho-oncology Department at the Instituto Nacional del Cancer a Cancer Hospital in Santiago, Chile. She is interested in the implementation of Distress screening in the oncological settings as a mandatory standard of Care and implementation strategies to improve Quality of Psychosocial Care in our Latin American Context.  She enjoy the team work and to promote and contribute with healthcare team self-care interventions and fascinate about learning from others health care system experiences.

Dr Tamara Green,  Primary Care Physician , Jamaica.

Tamara works as a community-based family physician and a clinical cancer researcher with the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium . In her latter capacity, she works collaboratively through the cervical cancer working group on projects examining knowledge, attitude and behaviour toward human papilloma vaccination. Her areas of research interest are: cancer prevention, early detection and  psycho- behavioural adaptation. She is particularly passionate about optimising and integrating supportive care in primary health services and using pragmatic innovation in clinical trial designs for resource- poor settings. Both of which she finds opportunity through clinical practice translation.

Sravannthi Maya, Doctoral Research Scholar, India

Research interests: Advance cancers, palliative care, health and counseling psychology, pediatric psycho-oncology, coping with cancer, pain, death, bereavement, and its understanding.

Sravannthi Maya is currently a final year doctoral research scholar in the Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. An Integrated masters graduate from University of Hyderabad in Health Psychology, she is an MPhil graduate from University of Madras in Psycho-oncology. She is equipped with the of experience working in the fields of Health psychology and Psycho-oncology comprising of gestational diabetes, patient-doctor relationship, psychological distress among patients with chronic/critical illnesses through qualitative research in medical psychology. Her research is aimed at understanding the experiences and perceptions of patients suffering with cancer in their advance stages of illness with a poor prognosis and the impact of prognosis disclosure and nondisclosure on them and their primary caregivers. She aims to develop a model/interventions to bridge the communication gap between Indian patients- family carers and oncologists to improve quality of care, well-being and treatment outcomes.

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