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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title Interventions in Psycho-oncology
Module Code NS539
School School of Nursing and Human Sciences

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will enable students of psycho-oncology to demonstrate knowledge and specific skills in psychosocial interventions, health promotion & education and supportive care relevant to the person with cancer and his or her family and close others. These include psychosocial interventions available as psychodynamic/psychoeducative supportive care at any stage of the cancer trajectory for the person with cancer, his or her spouse, partner and/or family members as well as psychiatric/psychopharmacological interventions appropriate to cancer care in the primary, secondary and or tertiary healthcare settings. The learning outcomes for the students of this module focus on demonstrating the causes of and comprehensive assessment skills for the early detection of psychological distress, narrative interviewing and immediate problem solving with the service user as appropriate and ability to appropriately refer the service user to the relevant service provider within the multidisciplinary team as required, for example for symptom control/management. Psychoeducative and health promotion interventions include for example setting up stress management, community and distance support services for patients with cancer.

Learning Outcomes

1. Analyse and evaluate psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural therapies and counselling for individual patients and patient groups and their carers and close others in the clinical and community setting.
2. Demonstrate knowledge and range of communication and assessment skills to identify psychological distress, offer a problem solving interview and if required to appropriately refer the patient to a member of the multidisciplinary team for symptom alleviation and control; for example to psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural therapies, pastoral care, medical social worker, or psychiatric and psychopharmcological interventions.
3. Have detailed knowledge and skills in using a range of assessment tools for identifying psychological distress, pain, depression and anxiety in the patient with cancer to be able to appropriately treat and refer the patient as necessary.
4. Evaluate and be able to deliver education regarding cancer screening and prevention programmes to health care professionals,laypersons and patients and their families
5. Demonstrate the ability to access and deliver a range of specific psycho-educative/health promotion interventions for patients with cancer and for prevention, particularly related to smoking cessation, alcohol misuse,diet and exercise.
6. Analyse the challenges and opportunities of delivering supportive and psycheducative services via videotechnology for populations, especially older persons, living in remote regions.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture38based on indicative content, learning activities, tutorials, group work and discussions
Independent Study172self directed study based on additional reading list
Clinical placement40reflective learning in practice
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Models and dynamics of stress/distress/PTSD
Models and dynamics of stress/distress/PTSD (especially the stress and relaxation responses) and coping and the use of mind body complementary therapies to enhance coping and maximize quality of life for patients with cancer and their family/close others/carers –for example and not exclusively: breathing, meditation, mindfulness, autogenic training; relevant safety issues, policies and standards; conseqences of misdiagnosis; the work of the psycho-oncologist and ways in which the psycho-oncologist and his/her work are perceived

Patient education interventions
Patient education interventions related to cancer prevention, health promotion and behaviour change self care, self efficacy, skills development, problem solving, information access and acquisition, treatment adherence and self regulation

Patient and partner issues
Patient and partner issues related to sexuality, body image, intimacy, relationships, enhancing family dynamics

Quality and standards in psycho-oncology
Modes of evaluation of effectiveness and quality of interventions; safety issues, policies and standards

Social cognition, psychological and health promotion theories
Social cognition, psychological and health promotion theories relevant to patient self regulation and care, behaviour change and cancer prevention

Psychosocial oncology health services delivery
Models of health delivery in the community; service limitations and problems with implications for staff burnout Computer and videotechnology skills relevant to setting up distance support service provision

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Brennan, J (2004): 2004, Cancer in Context: a Practical Guide for Supportive Care. New York: Oxford University Press, 1st, All, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 0-19-851525-1
  • Holland J et al IPOS Press: 2006, Quick Reference for Oncology clinicians :The Psychiatric and Psychological Dimensions of Cancer Symptom Management IPOS Press, 1st, 0-9785319-0-6
  • edited by Jimmie C. Holland; associate editors, William Breitbart... [et al.]: 1998, Psycho-oncology, Oxford University Press, New York, 0195106148
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn: 2005, Coming to our senses, Hyperion, New York, 0786867566
  • Moorey, S. & Greer, S: 2002, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for People with Cancer., 2nd, New York: Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-850866-3
  • Segal, ZV et al: 2002, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Guildford Press, 13-978-1-57230-706-3
  • Zighelboim, J: 2007, To Health ! The New Humanistic Oncology USA., www.booksurge.com, 1-4196-5740-2
  • Ralph J. DiClemente (Editor), Richard A. Crosby (Editor), Michelle Kegler (Editor): 0, Emerging Theories in Health Promotion Practice and Research, 0-470-17913-9
  • Thiboldeaux, K, Golant, M: 2007, The Total Cancer Wellness Guide, Dallas: Benbella, 978-1-933771-16-X852495
  • edited by Denise Rankin-Box: 0, The nurse's handbook of complementary therapies, Baillière Tindall, Edinburgh, 0702026514
  • Professor Jackie Green, Professor Keith Tones,: 0, Health Promotion,
  • edited by Denise C. Park and Linda L. Liu: 2007, Medical adherence and aging, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, 9781591477310
  • edited by Mark Conner and Paul Norman: 0, Predicting health behaviour, 0335193218
  • Alex J. Mitchell MRCPsych, James C. Coyne PhD,: 0, Screening for Depression in Clinical Practice, 978-0-19-538019-4
Other Resources

182, IPOS website online lectures, 0, 183, CD Rom for classroom delivery, Professor Lesley Fallowfield & Dr Val Jenkins, 2009, Advanced Communication Skills for Healthcare Professionals, Sussex UK, 184, website, World Cancer Research Fund, 2007, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer, http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/,
Programme or List of Programmes
GPOYGraduate Diploma in Psycho-Oncology