Cancer: The Psychosocial Impact Across the Disease Continuum

1h 30m of CPD
Katharine Hodgkinson
18 Apr 2017

This Course examines the psychosocial effects that can accompany a cancer diagnosis, and encourages health professionals to provide psychosocial support for patients and their loved ones who are experiencing the disease.


Identify risk factors for distress and common concerns associated with a cancer diagnosis


Explain the benefits of psychosocial support


Describe the role of the nurse and other sources of support


List different types of psychosocial support strategies and how they might be applied


Katharine Hodgkinson

Dr Katharine Hodgkinson is a Clinical Psychologist with over 18 years’ experience in client care, research and education. Katharine currently leads a team of Clinical and Consulting Psychologists at HeadwayHealth providing a range of psychological interventions to support to those affected by a cancer and other heath and emotional concerns. Katharine has published numerous research papers and several book chapters in cancer care, and co-edited the book “Psychosocial Care of Cancer Patients. A Health Professional’s Guide to What to Say and Do” (Hodgkinson K and Gilchrist J, Ausmed Publications, 2008).


Angela Wessling28 Sep 2018
Being interactive as a fun way to break up the course and revise the learning.

Esther Zoe Nunn18 Sep 2018
Lots of useful info thankyou.

Avelina Go Chow31 May 2018
Really needed support and education to all health professionals. Great course

Harmeet Kaur26 May 2018
Very useful

Gillian Carne25 May 2018
Good information

Nomalanga moyo24 May 2018
l recommend this course it gives all the information of how you would support the cancer patient and encourage them to open up for more help.

Dayou Xie23 May 2018
Great lessons to learn

Annette richards17 May 2018
Very educational. A must for all health care proffessionals working in palliative care. Informative and enlightening.

Joungsim BAE06 May 2018
Good to know

rosemary britt6201 May 2018
Very informative VLA

Jane Wilson27 Apr 2018
recommend to other health professionals educator was enthusiastic

Amanpreet Kaur15 Apr 2018
Good video

Emily Claire12 Apr 2018
Excellent resource!

Cindy Barkhuizen10 Apr 2018

Course Overview

Topics include:

  • Responses to a cancer diagnosis
  • Risk factors for distress
  • Common concerns associated with a cancer diagnosis
  • The role of health professionals in providing psychosocial support
  • Skills for health professionals to provide psychosocial support

Target audience

All healthcare professionals who care for people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones, both in their professional, and personal lives.


Further understanding of the impact of a diagnosis of cancer and common concerns that may arise across the treatment continuum.


A cancer diagnosis can have a significant impact on a patient, their family, and loved ones, and can raise a number of psychosocial concerns. Concerns may be associated with dealing with treatment, managing emotional responses, the impact on others, and living with uncertainty associated with receiving a life-threatening diagnosis. Specific concerns may arise at different phases of the care continuum: diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, recurrence and end of life. Risk factors have been identified for psychological distress, and it has been shown that routine distress screening should be incorporated into practice to identify these risks. Psychosocial support has been shown to minimise the impact of this disease and improve quality of life; it has numerous benefits and may be offered in a variety of ways. Health professionals, especially nurses, are in a unique position to provide this support and really make a difference to how their patient copes with their disease. There are many facets to providing psychosocial support, and multiple strategies that nurses are able to implement in order to best support their patient and others through their experience with cancer.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

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