IPOS Special Interest Group – Cancer and Aging: Reflection for Elders (CARE)

In response to the rapid growth of the aging population diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers, the mandate of the Cancer and Aging: Reflection for Elders (CARE) SIG is to promote global collaborations among researchers, clinicians, and decision makers to improve outcomes for these groups.

Committee members:

CHAIR: Afaf Girgis, PhD (Australia), is Director of the Psycho-oncology Research Group at the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research & University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, with 27+ years of research experience. Prof Girgis’ national and international standing in behavioural science and psycho-oncology was acknowledged with the 2012 Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) Inaugural Psycho-oncology Award, the 2015 Lady Mary Fairfax Distinguished Researcher Award, and in 2017, her work received 3 distinguished awards – UNSW in the South West Distinguished Research Prize, the South Western Sydney Local Health District Translational Research Award, and the South Western Sydney Local Health District Board Award. She has more than 300 publications, over 10,000 citations of her research and more than AUD$50M in research funding. She has a strong commitment to translating research into clinical practice; and a demonstrated track record of effective engagement with service providers, end-users of research and the community, to ensure the relevance and acceptability of interventions aimed at improving cancer care and outcomes. Prof Girgis is committed to training and mentoring junior researchers, having successfully supervised 27 research higher degree students and fellowships to date; and mentored many early career researchers who now have their own substantial research programs.

CO-CHAIR: Sylvie Lambert, PhD (Canada), is Assistant Professor in the Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University. Her research interests in the multidisciplinary field of psychosocial oncology include: 1) better understanding the substantial impact of a cancer diagnosis on patients’ and their caregivers’ wellbeing and functioning, 2) developing and evaluating illness self-management interventions that are sustainable to enhance translation in practice, 3) addressing the challenges of using patient reported outcomes in intervention programs, and the use of advanced psychometric approaches for improving the precision and efficiency of outcome evaluations. In addition to early success in obtaining peer-reviewed funding for her research, Dr. Lambert has an impressive track record of 42 scientific publications. She also received international recognition in the form of best paper awards from CANCER NURSING and the South Western Sydney Clinical School at the University of New South Wales. In addition, she was the recipient of the Rosemary Wedderburn Brown Prize, McGill University in 2014 to recognize individuals with outstanding scholarly potential and the International Psycho-Oncology Society Hiroomi Kawano New Investigator Award 2014. Her Research interests include: 1) understanding the impact of cancer on patients’ and their informal caregivers’ well-being, 2) developing self-management interventions that are sustainable to enhance translation in practice (including the use of e-Health technologies), 3) adapting self-management interventions to the needs of patients from a culturally and linguistically diverse background  and their caregivers, and 4) using advanced psychometric approaches for improving the precision and efficiency of outcome evaluations.

Miri Cohen, PhD (Israel), is the head of the School of Social Work, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa. She received BSW in Social Work from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel in 1973 and MSW from Haifa University in 1986. Received her PhD in 2000 from the Faculty of Medicine, the Technion, Israel in the area of psycho-neuro-immunology. Between the years 2006-2012 she served as the head of the Gerontology Department. She is the president of the Israel Psycho-Oncology Society, a board member of the Israeli Oncology Council, a board member of the Journals Psycho-Oncology and The journal of Research in Social Work Practice and a former Associate Editor of Quality of Life Research. Miri Cohen was awarded various grants, including The Israel Science Foundation, Israel Cancer Association and Müllerska Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Main areas of research are gerontology, Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (PNI), psycho-oncology, stress and coping, multicultural aspects of psycho-social and health care using advanced research methodologies. She published more than hundred papers in refereed journals and several books and chapters in edited books. Many of her papers have been published in leading journals such as Cancer, Breast Cancer Research and Therapy, International Journal of Cancer, Psycho-Oncology, Journal of the Geriatric American Association, Gerontologist.

Iraida V. Carrion, PhD., LCSW (United States), is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of South Florida and the MSW Program Director for the USF Sarasota-Manatee. Her research focuses on health inequalities among older Latinos, intersecting end of life care and cancer. Currently she is the co-investigator of United States India Educational Fund, grant to establish a unique Indigenous Studies Field School for Global Exchange in Northeast India and examine health and cancer care practices. Dr. Carrion recently conducted a study funded and explored attitudes and beliefs about cancer among older Latino adults in the Tampa bay Area. Currently she is conducting comparative research with older adults in Barcelona, Spain and Arunachal Pradesh, India. In 2017, she received a Certificate of Global Achievement, USF World for her international accomplishments. In 2018, she was named a Gerontological Society of America Fellow; this status reflects her engagement and collaboration in health care research in local, national, and international settings.

Gil Goldzweig PhD. (Israel), Gil Goldzweig is a Clinical & Medical psychologist. He is an associate Professor and the Dean of the School of Behavioral Sciences at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv, Israel. He is a handling editor at the Journal of Palliative and Supportive care and the co-chair of the publication and communication committee of IPOS. His research is focused on caregivers to cancer patients: difference in distress between patients and caregivers, dyadic relations and reciprocal influence between patients and caregivers. His current project in collaboration with Prof. Lea Baider focuses on psychological reaction and adaptation of oldest-old (86 years old and above) people and their caregivers to cancer diagnosis.

Mr Ozan Bahcivan (Turkey) (IPOS Early Career Director), PhD Candidate, Founding Director Health Psychologist/Psycho-Oncologist, OZ Psychological Consultancy, Izmir – Turkey. Research interests: Coping with cancer, communication, illness perception, cross-cultural comparisons, medical decision-making and palliative care. Ozan Bahcivan completed his Master of Science in Health Psychology in the United Kingdom at the University of West of England-Bristol, and commenced his Doctoral studies in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Barcelona in Spain. His thesis topic is “A new clinical approach for cancer patients: A combined Mindfulness based CBT, breathing and imagery technique called the Swinging Effect Intervention”. He graduated from Bachelor of Psychology at the Western Sydney University in Australia. Ozan won a scholarship and completed part of his university education in 2009 at the University of Central Lancashire in England and in Turkey at the University of Izmir Economics in 2010. He has experience including working within schools, hospitals, clinical and community health settings with children and families, youth and adults who are from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds. He has given seminars about psycho-social oncology, aggression, mental health awareness, cancer care, anger and stress management strategies to students, health professionals, teachers, parents, and police force teams in various cities in Australia, Cyprus and Turkey. As well as this, he is involved in research about oncological psycho-social care and mental health. He has been a guest speaker at national Australian SBS, and national Turkish TV and radio channels to give a speech on psycho-social aspects of cancer, addiction disorders, mental health and PTSD. Currently he works full time as a Health Psychologist/Psycho-Oncologist at OZ Psychological Consultancy in Izmir, Turkey. Also Ozan has affiliation with Family Haven/SA Pregnancy and Parenting Counselling Services in Adelaide, Australia as a supervisor consultant.

Tania Estapé, PhD (Spain), is a clinical psychologist leading the Psychosocial Oncology Department in FEFOC Foundation (www.fefoc.org) in Barcelona, Spain, focused mainly on Breast (www.cancermama.org), prostate (www.cancerdeprostata.org), elderly (www.mayoressincancer.org) and relatives of càncer patients, doing online and presential work. She leads individual and group therapy and some research programs, finishing now a clinical trial to find the best tool to improve knowledge and attitudes in old people towards cancer. She is associate professor of Psychology in Open University of Catalonia, and of Health Sciences in Central University of Catalonia, and co-director of the Master on Psycho-oncology in Barcelona University.

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