Psycho-oncology Education, Training and Research
The Psycho-oncology Department has a long-established tradition in teaching, training and research activities. The teaching activities include post-graduate teaching on the Clinical and Counselling Psychology doctoral training courses in Trinity College Dublin as well the provision of lectures to the M.Sc. in Cancer Care, also in Trinity College Dublin. The Psychologists sit on the course management committee of both the clinical and counselling psychology doctoral courses.
The department has organised in-house training on psychological skills and techniques in oncology, for a wide range of healthcare professionals in the St. Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network including Nurses, NCHDs, Physiotherapists and Radiation Consultants. Furthermore, the psychologists run psycho-educational lecture series (Cancer Insights programme) and skill building classes (in Progressive Muscular Relaxation and Mindfulness based Stress Reduction) for patients and relatives. A number of doctoral Trainees from the Clinical and Counselling Psychology training programmes in Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, NUIG and University of Limerick, attend St. Luke’s Hospital for specialist placements in Psycho-oncology each year (for durations of 5 months to one year) under the supervision of the Psychologists in the department.
The Psycho-oncology department places a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice and has an established record in clinical research, publishing over a dozen peer reviewed publications and book chapter in recent years as well as presenting at numerous international and national conference. The Psychologists also rely on practice-based evidence to further enhance the service (e.g. in the form of journal clubs, use of standardised measures). The department has established research links with Trinity College and Queens University Belfast among other centres. Additionally, the psychologists have been research supervisors to numerous doctoral and PhD students research. The department’s current research projects include:
- Developing emotion focused therapy for adult cancer patients: systematic case studies in psycho-oncology. (Ph.D., Trinity College Dublin).
- A longitudinal study of coping, distress and posttraumatic growth in a sample of Irish cancer patients (D.Clin.Psych., Trinity College Dublin).
- Impact of psychological interventions on survival in cancer patients: A Cochrane Review (The Cochrane Collaboration).