An evaluation of the Interdisciplinary Psychosocial Oncology Research Group and Laboratory: An initiative to enable intersectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration

Danielle Petricone-Westwood, Kari-Ann Clow, Sophie Lebel, Jennifer Brunet


Background: Psychosocial oncology (PSO) is an interdisciplinary field that is often practised and researched in disciplinary silos. The Interdisciplinary PSO Research Group and Laboratory (IPSORGL) was developed in Ottawa (Ontario) to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and training amongst trainees, healthcare professionals (HCPs), and researchers. 

Methods: The research team conducted an implementation and outcome evaluation of the IPSORGL. Data were collected using sequential mixed methods, including surveys and interviews. 

Results: Eight trainees, six HCPs, and five researchers completed the survey. Six trainees and four HCPs participated in an interview. Benefits of the IPSORGL included establishing interdisciplinary connections and collaborations and obtaining unique training in a supportive environment. Challenges included members’ differing preferences for meeting formats and content, and difficulties prioritizing the IPSORGL over other academic or clinical demands. 

Conclusions: The IPSORGL fosters essential interdisciplinary training and collaboration, which bolsters psychosocial oncology research and practice. The sustainability of such initiatives, however, requires formal institutional support.

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