de Souza Institute de Souza Institute
Categories: Nursing, Interprofessional, Oncology, Palliative

Interprofessional Psychosocial Oncology: Introduction to Theory and Practice (IPODE) (IPOI02SEP24)

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Marianne Arab 

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 international healthcare professionals.

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. 


Course Syllabus

This introductory course is designed to offer participants with the opportunity to:

  1. Explore the illness experience of cancer as both a chronic and life threatening illness from a patient/family* centered perspective.

  2. Analyze theoretical and empirical issues in psychosocial oncology.

  3. Explore personal thoughts and feelings in the area of living and dying with cancer, and the ways in which these can become avenues of personal and professional growth.

  4. Develop knowledge and skills to assess individuals and families from a psychosocial and spiritual perspective and to develop a collaborative patient/family centered plan of care that is responsive to patient/family needs.

  5. Critique evidenced-based interventions that foster healing and facilitate coping in the face of psychosocial and spiritual distress. Approaches include psycho-educational, cognitive-behavioral, family systems, mind-body, existential, spiritual and the arts. Social determinants of health are understood to be important determinants of healing and coping and also will be explored.

  6. Acknowledge and attend to aspects of diversity and understand how these might influence the experience of cancer and the health care system.

*The definition of family that informs the course is not limited to traditional understandings. Rather the family is defined by the person experiencing cancer.



The main mechanisms to facilitate learning in this course will entail eLearning and thirteen 1.0 hour "Live" sessions with a faculty facilitator once each week using real time conference session using Contact North (“Live Classroom”) starting on Wednesday, September 11, 2024 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time  Live sessions are mandatory for this course. We realize that being available for all the live classroom sessions may be difficult due to unforeseen circumstances so we allow up to 3 missed sessions.  The live sessions are recorded for you to review at any time after the session.

Dates and times to be confirmed

  • Monday, September 2, 2024 - Access to the eLearning Centre and on-line course material

  • Wednesday, September 11, 2024 - 1st live session 

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2024 – 2nd live session

  • Wednesday, September 25, 2024 – 3rd live session

  • Wednesday, October 2, 2024  – 4th live session

  • Wednesday, October 9, 2024 – 5th live session

  • Wednesday, October 16, 2024 – 6th live session

  • Wednesday, October 23,  2024  – 7th live session

  • Wednesday, October 30, 2024  - 8th "Live Session"

  • Wednesday, November 6, 2024 - 9th "Live Session"

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2024 - 10th "Live Session"

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2024 - 11th "Live Session"

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2024 - 12th "Live Session"

  • Wednesday, December 4, 2024 - Final "Live Session”

  • Wednesday, December 16, 2024 – e-Learning closes


To be successful in completing this course, you are encouraged to set aside approximately 4 to 6 hours each week to complete each section as learning is primarily self-directed. The total learning hours for this course are 48 hours. It is strongly recommended for participants not to plan a vacation during the course offering period. If you plan to go on vacation you must notify the course facilitator at least two weeks in advance. It is expected that you post your discussion posting/ submit your assignment before you go on vacation.

To view the full course syllabus and course timeline, please click HERE.


This course is designed for regulated health care professionals in hospitals, cancer centres and the community who provide care to those expe­riencing cancer, including physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, spiritual care providers and others. The course is part of a larger project developing national distance education initiatives for interprofessional practice in psychosocial oncology. 

Funding Opportunities: Please click HERE for more details.

Group pricing is available when you have 3 or more courses or participants. Click HERE for more details.


Payment must be received by August 19, 2024. For more information, please visit our Cancellation & No Show Policy.

Participants can pay for this course online with a credit card, or send a cheque to:

de Souza Institute
c/o Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth Street,
RFE 3-440
Toronto, ON   M5G 2C4
Last Day to Register
Aug 19, 2024
Course Starts
Sep 2, 2024
Fee (CAD)
International Fee (CAD)

To enroll in this course:


To purchase multiple courses:

Course Ends
Dec 16, 2024
Last Drop Date
Aug 26, 2024
Learning Hours
de Souza Designation Credits
1 credits under Therapeutic and Supportive Relationships