Login | Register

Compassion, connection, community: Preserving traditional core values to meet future challenges in oncology nursing practice.


Compassion, connection, community: Preserving traditional core values to meet future challenges in oncology nursing practice.

Lee, Virginia, Reilly, Rosemary C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7274-4488, Laux, Katherine and Robitaille, Andréanne (2018) Compassion, connection, community: Preserving traditional core values to meet future challenges in oncology nursing practice. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 28 (3). pp. 212-216. ISSN 1181-912X

[thumbnail of CONJ-28-3-2018 Lee (Eng).pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
CONJ-28-3-2018 Lee (Eng).pdf - Published Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.


Over the past four decades, owing largely to the interdisciplinary field of psychosocial oncology, there has been significant progress in how we understand and care for the psychological well-being of patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. The more than 600 evidence-based interventions documented to date (Moyer et al., 2009), and the current focus on patient-centred care (Kitson et al., 2013), suggests that attending to a patient’s emotional needs and psychosocial well-being is a widely recognized and indisputable part of cancer care. Yet, unmet emotional needs persist across Canada and there remains much room for improvement in terms of providing adequate emotional support at diagnosis and throughout treatment (Carlson et al., 2004;
Coronado, et al., 2017). This paper describes how one Canadian cancer centre cultivated a sense of compassion, connection, and community, individually and collectively, by integrating innovative meaning-making activities into cancer practice.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Applied Human Sciences
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies
Item Type:Article
Authors:Lee, Virginia and Reilly, Rosemary C. and Laux, Katherine and Robitaille, Andréanne
Journal or Publication:Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal
Date:1 June 2018
  • Réseau de recherche en interventions en sciences infirmières du Québec
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology
  • Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé
  • Cedars CanSupport
Keywords:cancer, oncology, meaning-making activities
ID Code:984768
Deposited By: Rosemary Reilly
Deposited On:17 Dec 2018 18:19
Last Modified:17 Dec 2018 18:19


Barnes, K., Marateo, R.C., & Ferris, S.P. (2007). Teaching and learning with the Net Generation. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 3(4), Article 1. http://nsuworks.nova.efu/innovaet/vol3/iss4/1

Carlson. L.E., Angen, M., Cullum, J., Goodey, E., Koopmans, J., Lamont, L., MacRae, J.H., … Bultz, B.D. (2004). High levels of untreated distress and fatigue in cancer patients. Br J Cancer, 90, 2297–304.

Coronado, A.C., Tran., K., Chadder, J., Niu, J., Fung, S., Louzado, C., & Rahal, R. (2017). The experience of patients with cancer during diagnosis and treatment planning: A descriptive study of Canadian survey results. Current Oncology, 24(5), 332–337.

Erikson, E.H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.

Frankl, V.E. (1984). Man’s search for meaning: An introduction to logotherapy. New York, Simon & Schuster.

Gawande, A. (2010). Letting Go. Annals of Medicine, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/08/02/letting-go-2

Hack, T.F., Carlson, L., Butler, L., et al. (2011). Facilitating the implementation of empirically valid interventions in psychosocial oncology and supportive care. Supportive Care in Cancer, 19, 1097–105.

Henoch, I., & Danielson, E. (2009). Existential concerns among patients with cancer and interventions to meet them: An integrative literature review. Psychooncology, 18(3), 225–36.

Henry. M., Cohen, S.R., Lee, V., Sauthier, P., Provencher, D., Drouin, P., Gauthier, P., … Mayo, N. (2010). The Meaning-Making intervention (MMi) appears to increase meaning in life in advanced ovarian cancer: A randomized controlled pilot study. Psycho-Oncology, 19, 1340–7.

Hoey, L.M., Ieropoli, S.C., White, V.M & Jefford, M. (2008). Systematic review of peer-support programs for people with cancer. Patient Education and Counselling, 70(3), 315–337.

Holland, J.C., Kelly, B.J.,& Weinberger, M.I. (2010). Why psychosocial care is difficult to integrate into routine cancer care: Stigma is the elephant in the room. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 8(4), 362–6.

Keenan, E.K., & Miehls, D. (2008). Third space activities and change processes: An exploration of ideas from social and psychodynamic theories. Clin Soc Work J, 36, 165–175.

Kissane, D. (2009). Beyond the psychotherapy and survival debate: The challenge of social disparity, depression and treatment adherence in psychosocial cancer care. Psycho-oncology, 18, 1–5.

Kitson, A., Marshall, A., Bassett, K., & Zeitz, K. (2013). What are the core elements of patient-centred care? A narrative review and synthesis of the literature from health policy, medicine, and nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(1), 4–15.

Kvåle, K. (2007). Do cancer patients always want to talk about difficult emotions? A qualitative study of cancer inpatients communication needs. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 11, 320–327.

Lee, V., Cohen, S.R., Edgar, L., Laizner, A.M., & Gagnon, A.J. (2004). Clarifying “meaning” in the context of cancer research: A systematic literature review. Palliative and Supportive Care, 2(3), 291–303.

Lee, V., Cohen, S.R., Edgar, L., Laizner, A.M., & Gagnon, A.J. (2006a). Meaning-making and psychological adjustment to cancer: Development of an intervention and pilot results. Oncology Nursing Forum, 33(2), 291–302.

Lee, V., Cohen, S.R., Edgar, L., Laizner, A.M., & Gagnon, A.J. (2006b). Meaning-making intervention during breast or colorectal cancer treatment improves self-esteem, optimism, and self-efficacy. Social Science & Medicine, 62, 3133–45.

Lee, V. (2008). The existential plight of cancer: meaning making as a concrete approach to the intangible search for meaning. Supportive Care in Cancer, 16, 779–785.

Lee, V. & Loiselle, C.G. (2012). The salience of existential concerns across the cancer control continuum. Palliative and Supportive Care, 10(2), 1–10.

LeMay, K. & Wilson, K.G. (2008). Treatment of existential distress in life threatening illness: A review of manualized interventions. Clinical Psychological Review, 28, 472–93.

Marsh, A.A. (2011). Empathy and compassion: A cognitive neuroscience perspective. In J. Decety (Ed.), Empathy: From bench to bedside. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Maslow, A. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370–396.

McMullan, M. (2006). Patients using the Internet to obtain health information: How this affects the patient-health professional relationship. Patient Education and Counselling, 63, 24–28.

Moadel, A., Morgan, C., Fatone, A., et al. (1999). Seeking meaning and hope: Self-reported spiritual and existential needs among an ethnically-diverse cancer patient population. Psycho-oncology, 8, 378–85.

Moyer, A., Knapp-Oliver, S.K., Sohl, S.J., Schneider, S., & Floyd, A.H. (2009). Lessons to be learned from 25 years of research investigating psychosocial interventions for cancer patients. The Cancer Journal, 15, 345–518.

Oldenburg, R., & Brissett, D. (1982). The third place. Qualitative Sociology, 5(4), 265–284.

Park, C. (2010). Making sense of the meaning literature: An integrative review of meaning making and its effects on adjustment to stressful life events. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 257–301.

Sinclair, S., Norris, J.M., McConnell, S.J., Chochinov, H.M., Hack, T.F., Hagen, N.A., et al. (2016a). Compassion: A scoping review of the healthcare literature. BMC Palliative Care, 15(1), 6–21.

Sinclair, S., Torres, M.B., Raffin-Bouchal, S., Hack, T.H., McClement, S., Hagen, N.A., & Chochinov, H.M. (2016b). Compassion training in healthcare: What are patients’ perspectives on training health care providers? BMC Medical Education, 16(169), 1–10.

Tedeschi, L.G., & Calhoun, R.G. (2013). Posttraumatic growth in clinical practice. New York: Brunner Routledge.

Thompson, S.C., & Janigian, A.S. (1988). Life schemes: A framework for understanding the search for meaning. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 7, 260–280.

Thorne, S., Kuo, M., Armstrong, E-A., McPherson, G., Harris, S.R., & Hislop, T.G. (2005). “Being Known”: Patients’ perspectives of the dynamics of human connection in cancer care. Psycho-Oncology, 14, 887–898.

Yalom, I.D. (1980). Existential psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top