E-counseling in psychosocial cancer care: A survey of practice, attitudes, and training among providers

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Objective: In the cancer setting, e-counseling interventions may be uniquely beneficial as they spare patients the cost and burden of traveling to a hospital or clinic for psychosocial care. However, the prevalence of e-counseling among psychosocial cancer care providers is unknown, as are the training needs with regard to e-counseling among this group of professionals. Thus, our group conducted an online professional training needs assessment with psychosocial cancer care providers. Subjects and Methods: Participants (n=120) were recruited from the listservs of the Health Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine-Cancer Special Interest Group, the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, and the Association of Oncology Social Work. All completed a 14-item online survey. Results: Although 84% of participants stated that e-counseling could be important to their clinical work with cancer patients and survivors, 88% reported that they did not have the skills to effectively conduct e-counseling, and 81% reported that there were no adequate e-counseling educational opportunities. When asked about future training opportunities, participants reported a preference for online training versus live training (p<0.001). Conclusions: Overall, the results highlight the need for online training programs in e-counseling for psychosocial cancer care providers. The training of psychosocial cancer care providers in e-counseling is a critical first step towards increasing implementation of e-counseling interventions and using the Internet to deliver effective interventions to cancer patients in need.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-308
Number of pages4
JournalTelemedicine Journal and e-Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 2012


  • e-health
  • telehealth
  • telepsychiatry


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