New concerns about the fight against cancer have emerged during the last few years: cancer perceived as a chronic disease, survivorship of patients, transition from curative to palliative care, interprofessional collaboration within care teams, etc. Moreover, the access to integrated and centered care on the person, which favors well-being, quality of life and dignity at each step of the cancer continuum, constitutes governmental priorities. However, these dimensions are rarely taken into account in the research protocols developed within supraregional teams in oncology, recently accredited by the Direction Québécoise du Cancer (DQC) of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux (MSSS).
Michel-Sarrazin research team occupies already, in palliative care, an important role of scientific support with certain supraregional oncology teams. Other researchers in psychosocial oncology from the region are also approached to offer this type of support to supraregional oncology teams. In this regard, some initiatives that may promote a greater convergence should be examined, especially since spontaneous collaborations are observed between researchers from these two research fields and that several of these researchers hold a form or another of attachment to the Cancer axis of the Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec and/or to the Psychosocial oncology and palliative care axis of the CRC-Laval University.
It is in this context that an exceptional opportunity emerged to integrate and regroup the research in psychosocial oncology and in palliative care in only one regional infrastructure designed by the Équipe de Recherche Michel-Sarrazin en Oncologie psychosociale et soins palliatifs (ERMOS).
Such a grouping of researchers aims to better support the different supraregional teams in oncology from the Réseau universitaire integré de santé de l’Université Laval (RUIS-Laval University) in their research activities. The combination of expertise in psychosocial oncology and in palliative care will further influence the evolution of clinical practice on the field, as well as the public policies concerning the fight against cancer. The ultimate objective is to offer better psychosocial support to people with cancer and their close ones, on the whole care trajectory, from prevention to palliative care and bereavement.
This new research infrastructure regroups researchers from the region who work in psychosocial oncology and palliative care. These researchers are already members of the Maison Michel-Sarrazin research team, from the CRCHUQ’s Cancer axis or other research centers from the region of Quebec. The ERMOS has a total of 20 researchers and employs around 20 research professionals, 50 students and research assistants, and has an annual budget and direct subventions of a little over a million dollars.
It is an interdisciplinary team working in medicine, psychiatry, psychology, social service, nursing and pharmacology. The researchers are career teachers in their respective discipline, mainly at Laval University.