Psychosocial Oncology Department
The Department of Psychosocial Oncology at P/SL was created to meet the support needs of BMT and oncology patients.
While the cancer experience is physical in nature, it is also an emotional experience for patients and their loved ones. Cancer gives rise to a number of psychological and social problems that, when not addressed, can lead to increased distress. As a commitment to providing the highest quality cancer care, the Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Comprehensive Cancer Program has developed a new department, the Psychosocial Oncology Department, to better meet the emotional needs of cancer patients and their loved ones.
Support services in the Psychosocial Oncology Department are provided by psychologists and social workers who offer a range of services such as providing individual, family or group support, identifying and accessing grants and resources in the community, help with practical issues such as transportation and housing, assistance in obtaining medical leave or disability, and providing education on what to expect through the transplant process from an emotional perspective. The department also includes a well-established psychology postdoctoral training program and a new practicum training program for graduate students in clinical psychology.
The Department Director, Teri Simoneau, Ph.D., is a nationally recognized psychologist who is involved in research related to cognitive effects of chemotherapy and caregiver stress. Currently, Dr. Simoneau is a co-investigator of a 5-year NIH-funded caregiver intervention study for caregivers of allogeneic transplant patients. Caregivers have multiple demands and distress is common. The stress management intervention was designed to address the common support needs of this group. Another study nearing completion is a 5-year NIH-funded study assessing cognitive effects of chemotherapy in older women with breast cancer. Often called “chemobrain,” many patients have a myriad of cognitive complaints following chemotherapy. This study looks at an often neglected group of cancer patients in research, those 60 and older, to assess whether the effects of chemotherapy treatment are greater in this age group than in younger women.
Members of the psychosocial oncology team are here to help you through the transplant experience. Please let them know how they can assist you. For more information about all our staff members please view our Psychosocial Staff page.