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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Cancer in the Couple: Clinical and Ethical Considerations within the Dyad

by Stacey Hart, PhD 5 CE Credits

Research demonstrates that social support received from partners is of critical importance for patients’ emotional well-being during all phases of the cancer experience. Indeed, existing data suggest that support provided by partners is unique and one of the most powerful psychological predictors of cancer patients’ well-being.  This course provides healthcare professionals with an empirical overview of the data on couples facing cancer, with a focus on relationship dynamics and communication strategies associated with individual- and couple-level psychosocial functioning. Further, the course reviews the empirical evidence for psychological and behavioral interventions to improve couple’s functioning and quality of life in the face of cancer. In addition, the course assists health care professionals to consider the impact of gender for cancer in the couple, as well as to provide ethical assessment and evaluation of couples where one individual has been diagnosed with cancer.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 5 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Psychosocial Needs of Individuals with Cancer: A Brief Overview
  • What Factors Affect Caregiver Burden Among Partners of Cancer Patients?
  • Maladaptive Communication: The Link to Psychological Distress in Couples Facing Cancer
  • It’s Not All Bad: Growing Closer In the Face of Cancer
  • The Role of Gender in Psychological Adjustment to Cancer
  • Psychosocial Interventions Aimed at Couple’s Coping with Cancer
  • Implementing Partner Sensitive Psychosocial Services: In and Out of a Healthcare Setting
  • Ethical Issues in Working with Cancer Couples
  • Web-Based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify three kinds of communication patterns associated with negative psychological functioning in couples coping with cancer
  • Describe three types of therapeutic interventions that benefit couples during cancer diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and re-entry
  • Evaluate three  gender differences and similarities in couples coping with cancer
  • Recognize three ethical issues in working with couples with cancer