Organizing Chair: Dr. Surendran Veeraiah
Organizer: Department of Psycho-oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA)
Time: 31st January & 1st February, 2020
The International Psycho-Oncology Society Academy 2020 was held in Chennai, India from 31st January to 1st February, 2020. The Academy was organized by the Department of Psychooncology in Cancer Institute (WIA), one of the national comprehensive cancer centers in India. The focus of the Academy was on ‘Enhancing Psychosocial Practices and Research in India’ and the goal of the program was to train the practicing psycho-oncology professionals on therapeutic skills, strengthening research orientation and networking professionals across the country. The program featured significant inputs from psycho-oncologists, psychiatrists, oncologists, physiotherapists, survivors. Around 130 participants representing various cancer centers across the country attended the program and contributed enthusiastically.
Pre-conference Workshop (Day 1)
The Academy was declared open on 31st January with four parallel pre-conference workshops. This included workshops on Introduction to Level-1 CBT Skills and Management of Specific Symptoms- Chronic Pain, Insomnia and Fatigue by Dr. Maggie Watson, Concept development in research by Dr. Haryana Dhillon, Communication in Oncology by Prof. Richard Fielding and Implementation research: Understanding Principles and Considering Research Applications in Psycho-oncology by Dr. Sudha Sivaram. A total of 130 participants attended the pre-conference workshops with around 40 participants in each. The participants stated that the workshops were of high quality and of great learning experience.
Conference (Day 2)
The day 2 of the Academy was organized as a conference featuring three symposiums, two panel discussion, two plenaries and two master classes. The speakers included eminent psychooncologists, oncologists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, survivors from across the country. The sessions featured important inputs from the speakers on the psychosocial, behavioural aspects of cancer care in India with special attention to the way forward. Recent updates in psychotherapies by Dr. Maggie Watson, Emerging trends and strengthening psycho-oncology research in India by Prof. Richard Fielding, Establishing psycho-oncology collaborative study groups by Dr. Haryana Dhillon, panel discussions on communication in oncology moderated by Dr Prasanth Ganesan and rehabilitation of cancer survivors by Dr Ramanan were few sessions rated highly significant by the attendees. In addition to the scientific sessions, oral and e-poster presentations were facilitated evaluated by Dr Subathra Jeyaram, Dr Soumitra Datta and Mr M.S Satish. Around 34 abstracts were received and were evaluated anonymously by the scientific committee to be chosen for oral and e-poster presentations. Five from the abstracts reviewed were chosen as ‘Best Clinical Implication Paper’ and were awarded during the program.
The Academy was well-received by the participants and they found the sessions intriguing, impactful and essential to their practice.
The Academy concluded with an announcement on the APPON 7 which is to be held by Cancer Institute (WIA) in January 2021 in Chennai. The participants expressed their desire to be a part of and attend the APPON meeting in the following year.
List of national faculties who contributed significantly towards the success of the academy:
Dr. Jayita Deodhar
Dr. Brindha Sitaram
Dr. Chitra Venkateswaran
Ms. Savita Goswami
Dr. Mahati Chittem
Dr. Rejiv Rajendranath
Dr. Krishnakumar Rathinam
Dr. Arun Seshachalam
Dr. Ponni Sivaprakasam
Dr. Vandana Dhamankar
Dr. Arvind Krishnamurthy
Dr. Nikita Mehra
Dr. Anand Raja
Dr. Kalpana Balakrishnan
Mr. Vijay Srinivasan
Dr. Vasanth Christopher