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

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IPODE: Relational Practices with Families in Oncology and Palliative Care IPOF02SEP19


Deborah McLeod

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.

Course Syllabus

 Psychosocial Oncology Objectives

 This course is designed to offer participants the opportunity to:

  1. Explore the illness experience of cancer as both a chronic and life-threatening illness from the perspective of family*.
  2. Analyze theoretical and empirical issues in the care of families in psychosocial oncology and palliative care.
  3. Explore personal thoughts and feelings in the area of living with and dying from cancer, and the ways in which these can become avenues of personal and professional growth.
  4. Develop knowledge and skills to assess families from a psychosocial and spiritual perspective and to develop a collaborative family plan of care that is responsive to family needs, beliefs and priorities.
  5. Develop knowledge and skill in evidenced-based family interventions that foster healing, that facilitate coping and are respectful of socio-cultural context of families experiencing psychosocial and spiritual distress.
  6. Acknowledge and attend to aspects of diversity and understand how these might influence the family experience of cancer and the health care system.

 Interprofessional and Transprofessional Collaboration Objectives

  1.  Analyze interprofessional functions within health care teams when caring for families. Understand the theoretical and philosophical differences as well as areas of commonality across disciplines.
  2. Develop theoretical understandings of collaboration and both inter – and transprofessional team work in caring for families, including forming and maintaining interprofessional relationships and teams and conflict management strategies.
  3. Understand the roles, responsibilities and professional capabilities of members of other professions.
  4. Develop self-awareness, cultural competency and relational practices for effective interprofessional team work, as well as awareness of personal strengths and areas of growth.
  5. Analyze practice environments and their influence on team collaboration and provision of family care. “Practice environment” is understood to include community.

The main mechanisms to facilitate learning in this course will entail eLearning and twelve 1 1/2 hour weekly real time online conference sessions. 



The main mechanisms to facilitate learning in this course will entail eLearning and twelve 1.0 hour weekly real time online conference sessions.  

The course homepage will be located at the de Souza eLearning center. The eLearning will cover the following activities:

  • Baseline and post course evaluation.
  • Self-directed learning: There are 6 units in the course, with each unit being completed over a 2 week period. Please follow the content sequence outlined by the course table on page 5. Online resources include background information, content modules, interviews, narratives, plays, and case studies with questions for reflections. 
  • Discussion boards via the eLearning platform is intended to engage all participants enrolled in the course. This is a form of learning that really depends on the active participation of the group. Online discussions regarding module content, readings or activities will enhance knowledge acquisition. It is encouraged that you share experiences, ideas or resources from clinical practice with others in the course.
  • Technical support will be provided throughout the course. 

Seminar – real time online conferencing

Every week, participants will meet with a faculty facilitator online for 1 1/2 hours. The format is seminar style in real time, with all members of the group contributing to the discussion of assigned readings or other resources. Seminars will provide opportunities to develop and practice interprofessional collaboration skills and to learn from, with, and about other disciplines and roles in psychosocial oncology. Links to the online conference will be provided in the course homepage on eLearning centre.  This group will meet for 60 to 90 minutes with a faculty facilitator once each week using online voice technology (“Live Classroom”) starting on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Toronto eastern time.


  1. August 26, 2019 - Access to the eLearning Centre and on-line course material
  2. September 3, 2019 - 1st "Live" session
  3. September 10, 2019 – 2nd  "Live" session
  4. September 17, 2019 -3rd "Live" session
  5. September 24, 2019 – 4th "Live session
  6. October 1, 2019 – 5th - "Live" session
  7. October 8, 2019 – 6th - "Live" session
  8. October 15, 2019 – 7th - "Live" session
  9. October 22, 2019 – 8th - "Live" session
  10. October 29, 2019 – 9th - "Live" session
  11. November 5, 2019 – 10th - "Live" session
  12. November 12, 2019 – 11th - "Live" session
  13. November 19, 2019 – 12th - "Live" session
  14. November December 9, 2019 - eLearning closes


Course Syllabus: To view the course syllabus, please click HERE


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.

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, 2019. For more information, please visit our Cancellation & No Show Policy.

Participants can pay for this course through ePortfolio by MasterCard or Visa, or send a cheque to:

de Souza Institute
700 Bay Street
Suite 1903
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z6
Last Day to Register
Aug 12, 2019
Course Starts
Aug 26, 2019
Fee (CAD)

To enroll in this course:


To purchase multiple courses:

Course Ends
Dec 9, 2019
Last Drop Date
Aug 30, 2019
Learning Hours
de Souza Designation Credits
1 credit under Patient Teaching and Coaching
Mixed Modality [eLearning and OTN]


It is highly recommended that participants who have limited background in cancer care also take the course “Interprofessional Psychosocial Oncology: Introduction to Theory and Practice”