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The University of Southampton

PSYC3056 Current & Emerging Issues in Psycho-Oncology & Pain Research

Module Overview

The course will comprise of an introductory session, five sessions on current and emerging issues in psycho-oncology, and five sessions on current and emerging issues in pain. The sessions on psycho-oncology cover genetic counselling, screening and treatment in individuals with mental health issues, quality of life and survivorship, impact on couples and families, and novel psychosocial interventions. The sessions on pain cover the function and neurobiology of pain, pain neuroscience and the Biopsychosocial model, pain as an emotion and the evolutionary account of pain, experimental approaches in pain psychology, and pain management interventions.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe and critically discuss the main methodological approaches in psycho-oncology
  • Discuss the impact of cancer on the quality of life of patients and their families
  • Discuss issues related to the screening and treatment of cancer in individuals with mental health issues
  • Discuss issues related to genetic testing and the use of prophylactic treatment
  • Evaluate novel psychosocial interventions in the field of psycho-oncology
  • Describe the functions pain serves and its basic neurobiology
  • Critically discuss the role of psychological, social and emotional factors in the experience of pain.
  • Describe experimental approaches used to explore the subjective pain experience
  • Discuss the impact of chronic pain on quality of life, and the therapeutic benefits of psychological interventions


• Research methods in psycho-oncology • Assessment of quality of life in individuals with cancer • Screening and treatment of cancer in individuals with mental health issues • Genetic counselling • The impact of cancer on couples • The impact of a family member's cancer on parents and children • Written emotional disclosure interventions for patients with cancer • Internet interventions for patients with cancer • The function of pain • The neurobiology of pain • Perception of pain • The Biopsychosocial model of pain • Pain as an emotion • Cognitive biases in chronic pain • The role of quantitative sensory testing of pain • Pain management interventions

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study126.5
Project supervision0.5
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

The learning outcomes for this module are assessed through one group presentation and one piece of coursework: Group presentation (39%) Marked assignment - 2,500 word essay (60%) Research participation (1%)


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 60%
Group presentation 39%
Research Participation 1%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PSYC1016

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