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What is Psycho-oncology?

Psycho-Oncology is a specialist service with a clinical, teaching and research remit to the hospital cancer services following internationally recognised standards of best practice. It provides this service across the cancer trajectory: from diagnosis to the palliative and end of life care of cancer patients of the hospital.


Receiving a diagnosis of cancer and undergoing treatment will normally result in some degree of transitory psychological distress.  It is entirely normal for patients to be up-set, confused, angry and tearful at diagnosis and during treatment.  With the support from family, friends & the medical/nursing teams the majority of people will cope well.  However, it is estimated that about a third of cancer patients will require professional help to overcome disabling psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression.  It is to this group of patients in particular the Psycho-oncology Service offers an assessment & intervention service.

Education & Training: 

The service provides education & training to hospital staff and staff in the Dublin-Mid Leinster Region in areas such as Communication at End of Life, Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Cancer Patients, Managing Patient’s Distress and Self-care for the Clinician.   We offer specialist post-graduate placements to doctoral psychology trainees from UCD and Trinity College.


The scientist-reflective-practitioner model guides the service & as such we continually evaluate the efficacy of our work.  We frequently collaborate in post-graduate research with our partners in the Psychology Departments in UCD and TCD and have recently established a Psycho-oncology Research Forum to develop and guide research in psycho-oncology over the next five years.