Presentation Title

Research and Practice in Cuban and U.S. Psycho-Oncology

Abstract

Over the past 40 years, psycho-oncology has emerged as a specialized area of health psychology with a strong body of research that has informed and guided clinical training and patient care. Similarly, with advances in treatment and increased survivorship, the subspecialty of pediatric psycho-oncology has become an area of international interest and collaboration to promote science and improve care of children and adolescents with cancer and their families. Both the U.S. and Cuba have developed considerable experience and resources to further the theory, practice, and research in psychosocial aspects of cancer. Recent presentations and papers from Cuban psycho-oncologists have focused on clinical interventions, quality of life, social support, coping, stress management strategies, mindfulness, and palliative care, areas that are also foci of U.S. studies. In Cuba, emphasis is placed on prevention and early intervention with patients and families, including community involvement. In addition, social responsibility is a key principle guiding training, clinical practice, and research. Based on shared experiences and examination of recent research, this talk will focus on the similarities and differences in U.S. and Cuban psycho-oncology research and practice in a contextual framework.