CAPO – an international leader in psychosocial oncology
The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) is a national registered charity that promotes excellence in psychosocial care for people with cancer and their families throughout the cancer experience—from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship or death. We work to transform cancer care wherever it is delivered—in hospital, in the community and in hospices.
Advancement in psychosocial oncology have been significant and CAPO continues to be a world leader. We believe change will come through more research, better education and improved clinical practice. Our accomplishments include:
- Creating national standards and practice guidelines: Thanks to CAPO, Canada was the first country in the world to establish standards for psychosocial care—standards that are used as model across the world. We were also active in advocating for the recognition of emotional distress as the sixth vital sign—to be checked routinely along with pulse, temperature or blood pressure. CAPO is currently working with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to develop guidelines on psychosocial assessment, depression, anxiety and survivorship. All individuals with cancer should have access to high quality psychosocial services, regardless of where they live. We’re working to make that happen.
- Educating those providing care: CAPO partners with universities across the country to offer web-based interprofessional graduate level and continuing education courses on various aspects of psychosocial care. Our commitment to enhancing education ensures that patients receive care from professionals trained in the latest methods and best practices in psychosocial care.
- Advancing research and knowledge: CAPO members are active researchers in the field of psychosocial oncology. Our annual conference provides a forum for sharing this knowledge and translating it into action. We facilitate collaborations between psychosocial researchers and other oncology researchers, and work to increase funding for psychosocial oncology research—research that will improve care for patients and their families. Over the last 10 years CAPO has facilitated the presentation of more than 2400 psychosocial abstracts.
- Shaping cancer care nationally and internationally: CAPO’s expertise is in demand on provincial, local and international policy and planning bodies. Our partnerships include the de Souza Institute, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and funding partners such as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute.
- Enhancing community-based cancer support: Many Canadians turn to community-based organizations for information and support services. CAPO was instrumental in establishing an online community for these organizations to help them improve services through improved collaboration and information sharing across the country.