Terms of reference
Psychosocial care is a specialised part of cancer care that focuses on the social, emotional and spiritual issues of importance for people affected by cancer. It includes attention to quality-of-life and practical issues, throughout the cancer experience.
The Australian Psychosocial Oncology Society’s mission is to promote the psychosocial care of patients with cancer, their families and carers, to enhance the capacity of health professionals to deliver optimal psychosocial care, and to promote the timely translation of research into clinical practice.
- To provide a structure which links professionals with an interest in psychosocial care so that they can share expertise and information.
- To promote the importance of psychosocial care in improving quality of life and reducing distress of patients with cancer, their family members and carers.
- To engage with people affected by cancer and be responsive to their needs for psychosocial care.
- To advocate for resource allocation to ensure equitable and timely access to psychosocial care for all patients, their families and carers.
- To advise on education and training needs for health professionals working in the field of psychosocial oncology.
- To promote information about educational and training opportunities nationally and internationally.
- To promote the timely implementation of evidence-based best practice through specific strategies such as provision of clinical updates, mentoring and clinical supervision.
- To provide a link to national and international organisations which focus on psychosocial research, clinical care, and health professional education.
In 2011 the Group held a Clinical Professional Day on the 14 November in Perth. Please click here to read the report.
Chair: Haryana Dhillon
Join COSA now
Contact COSA for more information about this group.
Membership is open to all members of COSA who are interested in the psychosocial care of patients with cancer and their families. Health professionals providing clinical care are encouraged to join, as are educators, administrators and others interested in psychosocial care. The multidisciplinary nature of the group is considered a key strength, as it allows for members to seek information, support and guidance from others, and enhances collaborative projects. COSA membership comes with a range of member benefits.
Anyone who is a member of COSA and has an interest in the psychosocial care of patients with cancer and their families is welcome to contact the current Chair, Haryana Dhillon for further information.
To become a member of this group select the Psycho-oncology membership box on the COSA joining form. Current members can join this group by selecting the Psycho-oncology membership box in update profile in the members’ area.
Australia has a proud history of excellence in psycho-oncology care and research. In 2012 COSA in conjunction with the Australian Psycho-Oncology Group (OZPOS) and the Psycho-Oncology Cooperative Research Group (PoCoG) has established two new awards recognising such achievements:
In recognition of the significance of the awards they will be formally presented during the COSA Annual Scientific Meeting (in line with other COSA Awards). The recipient will receive a statuette along with announcements in each organisations’ newsletters.
2012 nominations close 27 July.
For more information about this award and how to apply please contact
Dr Haryana Dhillon, OZPOS President
T: 02 9036 5392 E: email@example.com
- The National Breast & Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC) has developed a number of Clinical Practice Guidelines for health professionals and consumers. For example the Psychosocial Clinical Practice Guidelines for the care of Adults with cancer can be downloaded free of charge from the NBOCC website. The NBOCC website also has a dedicated Communication Skills link, and anyone can register to receive electronic alerts about Communication Skills training initiatives through the COMMUNIC@TE E-ALERT. The NBOCC has a number of evidence-based communication skills training modules, details of which are on the site, including information about funding opportunities for workshops.
- The Psycho-Oncology Cooperative Research Group (PoCoG) aims to improve the outcomes of patients experiencing a diagnosis of cancer, their families and carers through evaluation and implementation of psychosocial and supportive care interventions for patients, carers, health professionals and the health care system. Membership of this group is free, and recent initiatives include a study into the needs of patients from CALD backgrounds, and a grant-writing workshop to foster psychosocial researchers.
- The International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) was founded in 1984 to foster international multidisciplinary communication about clinical, educational, and research issues relating to psycho-oncology. IPOS holds an annual scientific meeting that represents an opportunity to present papers and hear about cutting edge psychosocial research internationally.
- The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) aims to advance the science and practice of psychosocial care for people with cancer. This site provides links to educational resources, and some assessment tools. APOS conducts an annual scientific meeting.
- Cancer Care is a US-based not-for-profit organisation that provides access to free educational resources. There are resources relevant for professionals and consumers.
- The National Cancer Institute provides access to educational materials including some guidelines. The Office of Cancer Survivorship provides updates about recent research and conferences. The Office of Cancer Survivorship has free teleconferences for health professionals, which are not usually at times convenient for Australian health professionals, but Cancer Care has recordings which can be accessed via their site.