Divisions & Programs

Psychosocial Oncology

Psychosocial Oncology as field of inquiry and practice: The study of personal, functional, spiritual and contextual factors that affect people's experience with cancer. (PORT, www.port.mcgill.ca, 2013)

The Psychosocial Oncology Program is a subspecialty in oncology that focuses on developing new knowledge and interventions that enhance support for individuals affected by a cancer diagnosis. The program involves researchers, clinicians and graduate students that rely on a variety of research approaches to answer important questions in the field.


Psychosocial Oncology uses a transdisciplinary approach (incorporating medicine, nursing, palliative care, psychology, social work and other disciplines) to develop, test, and implement optimal interventions to support and empower patients, family members and friends touched by cancer, to improve quality of life, and to discover effective ways of managing physical and psychological symptoms that affect well-being. 

The program has three main goals:

  • To increase research capacity in psychosocial oncology at McGill;
  • To recruit promising graduate students in the field from a variety of disciplines; 
  • To support cutting-edge transdisciplinary research programs with a focus on innovative psychosocial oncology interventions that are accessible, cost-effective and which take stock of community resources. 

Current programs of research include the impact of e-health on patient psychosocial adjustment to cancer and reliance on health care services, cross-cultural aspects of cancer care, optimal symptom management such as pain control and fatigue, and the multidimensional effects of treatment induced infertility.

Also under the leadership of Dr. Carmen G. Loiselle, the Psychosocial Oncology Research Training (PORT) program – a CIHR Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research (STIHR) – provides fellowships to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows wishing to enter the field of psychosocial oncology research from any number of disciplines (www.port.mcgill.ca).

Since 2003, PORT has involved more than 80 transdisciplinary mentors and graduate fellows from six major Canadian universities including McGill, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, and Université Laval.

Psychosocial oncology researchers in the Montreal area pursue exciting research activities at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), St-Mary’s Hospital, the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the Hope & Cope Wellness Centre.

Contact Information

Dr. Carmen Loisellecare
Associate Professor

Department of Oncology and Ingram School of Nursing
Faculty of Medicine
McGill Director of Psychosocial Oncology
and Oncology Nursing Programs
Christine and Herschel Victor/Hope & Cope Chair in Psychosocial Oncology

Senior Investigator
Lady Davis Institute, Segal Cancer Centre, and Centre for Nursing Research
Jewish General Hospital (JGH)
Scientific Director, Hope & Cope, JGH
514-340-8222, ext. 3940