POCOG Psycho-oncology Telehealth Recommendations


What are the Psycho-oncology Telehealth Recommendations?

The Psycho-oncology Telehealth Recommendations resource is the first of its kind in Australia. It provides practical guidance for psycho-oncology clinicians conducting therapy via telehealth (videoconference and telephone). Importantly, it focuses on therapeutic adaptations for telehealth in a psycho-oncology context, whilst also providing valuable information on practical, ethical and legal considerations as well.


Why were they developed?

Due to the rapid move to telehealth in Australia in response to COVID-19, psycho-oncology clinicians were faced with conducting videoconference and telephone sessions with very little guidance or training. A research study PoCoG conducted with psycho-oncology clinicians during COVID-19 highlighted that there was a need for information related to adaption of therapy approaches. This guidance is particularly important given the unique challenges psycho-oncology clinicians face such as working with patients experiencing existential concerns.  

Who developed them and how?

A national expert advisory group comprising psycho-oncology clinicians and researchers drawn from PoCoG members developed the core components for inclusion in the recommendations. PoCoG then conducted a Delphi consensus process to develop this evidence-based recommendations resource.


What is covered in the recommendations resource?

The recommendations have been developed for use by clinicians. The online resource includes clinical examples, script suggestions and resource links under the following categories:

  • Preparation for telehealth
  • Clinical and cultural considerations
  • Therapeutic adaptations (including in-depth case studies)
  • Specific client considerations
  • Clinician self-care

Where can we get them?!

The Psycho-oncology Telehealth Recommendations are available here

What’s next?

These recommendations provide much needed practical guidance for clinicians now and into the future, as the use of telehealth remains a large part of post-COVID-19 practice for many psycho-oncology clinicians.

Please feel free to download the recommendations resource and share it within your networks.

 A special thank you to…

The wonderful expert advisory group including: Jemma Gilchrist, Lisa Beatty, Laura Kirsten, Louise Sharpe, Nienke Zomerdijk, Maree Grier, Jane Turner, Kim Hobbs, Helen Haydon, Haryana Dhillon, Brian Kelly and Joanne Shaw on behalf of PoCoG. We would also like to thank the wider PoCoG membership for their input into the recommendations.

PoCoG is supported by Cancer Australia through their Support for Cancer Clinical Trials Funding Scheme. PoCoG is a Centre of The University of Sydney.

By Dr Claire Cooper