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Department of Psycho-Oncology

Asao Ogawa, Yoshio Iwata, Daisuke Fujisawa, Hiroyuki Nobata, Hiroko Tanaka, Junko Ueda, Rina Kakinuma, Tomoko Nishimura


The Department of Psycho-Oncology Service, established in July 1996, aims to manage and alleviate emotional distress of cancer patients, their families and caring staff. The Department, adjunctive with the Psycho-oncology Division of the Research Center for Innovative Oncology, also aims to study the influence of psychosocial issues upon quality of life and survival of cancer patients. Management of elderly patients with cancer, who are frequently comorbid with cognitive impairment or dementia, is another focus of interest.

Routine activities

The Department of Psycho-Oncology Service is composed of two attending psychiatrists, three clinical psychologists, and two psychiatry residents. The clinical activities include psychiatric consultation, involving comprehensive assessment and addressing of psychiatric problems of cancer patients. The patients are either self-referred or referred by their oncologists in charge. The consultation data are shown in the Table. Psychiatric diagnosis is based on the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition) criteria. Consultation data also includes individuals who are family members of cancer patients.

A conference with the Supportive Care Team is held on Wednesdays, and a multicenter joint clinical teleconference involving six cancer center hospitals and three university hospitals is held on Thursdays. In 2014, the Supportive Care Center was developed. This center provides multi-professional attention to the individual's overall physical, psychosocial, and social needs, and cooperates with the Psycho-Oncology Division.

Table 1. Psychiatric consultation data (n=973; January-December, 2015)

Supportive Care Team

Hiroya Kinoshita, Yoshihisa Matsumoto, Tomofumi Miura, Asao Ogawa, Yoshio Iwata, Naoko Kobayashi, Chiyuki Sasaki, Junya Ueno, Yoshie Iino, Kazuaki Hiraga, Daisuke Fujisawa, Hiroyuki Nobata, Keita Tagami, Yuki Sumazaki, Hanako Iwamoto, Lina Orikabe, Naoko Yoshino, Noriko Fujishiro, Junko Ueda, Rina Kakinuma, Tomoko Nishimura, Hideo Uesugi, Kumi Nakamura, Taichi Watanabe, Hatoe Sakamoto


The Supportive Care Team (SCT), established in October 2005, primarily aims to improve care for cancer patients and families facing a life-threatening illness. The role of the SCT is to implement comprehensive cancer care by assessing unrelieved symptoms (physical and psychiatric) and unattended needs, as well as efficiently managing physical symptoms, providing psychological support, and coordinating services.

Routine activities

The SCT is an interdisciplinary team composed of palliative care physicians, psychiatrists, certified nurse specialists, certified nurses, clinical psychologists, pharmacy practitioners, registered dietitians and social workers. The SCT keeps regular contact with clinician-teams in charge, discusses patients' needs, and refers patients and families to the appropriate services. Interdisciplinary team conferences and SCT rounds are held on Wednesdays. The SCT consultation data are shown in the table.

Clinical trials

Please refer to the "Department of Psycho-Oncology Service, Research Center for Innovative Oncology" section and the "Department of Palliative Medcine" sections.

Table 1. Supportive Care Team consultation data (n=1,009; January-December, 2015)

List of papers published in 2015


Please refer to the "Psycho-Oncology Service" sections.

List of papers published in 2015


  1. Mori M, Shimizu C, Ogawa A, Okusaka T, Yoshida S, Morita T. A National Survey to Systematically Identify Factors Associated With Oncologists' Attitudes Toward End-of-Life Discussions: What Determines Timing of End-of-Life Discussions? Oncologist, 20:1304-1311, 2015
  2. Shimizu K, Nakaya N, Saito-Nakaya K, Akechi T, Ogawa A, Fujisawa D, Sone T, Yoshiuchi K, Goto K, Iwasaki M, Tsugane S, Uchitomi Y. Personality traits and coping styles explain anxiety in lung cancer patients to a greater extent than other factors. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 45:456-463, 2015
  3. Umezawa S, Fujisawa D, Fujimori M, Ogawa A, Matsushima E, Miyashita M. Prevalence, associated factors and source of support concerning supportive care needs among Japanese cancer survivors. Psychooncology, 24:635-642, 2015
  4. Yokomichi N, Morita T, Nitto A, Takahashi N, Miyamoto S, Nishie H, Matsuoka J, Sakurai H, Ishihara T, Mori M, Tarumi Y, Ogawa A. Validation of the Japanese Version of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System-Revised. J Pain Symptom Manage, 50:718-723, 2015


  1. Ogawa A. Long-term cognitive function. In: Bruera E, Higginson IJ, von Gunten CF, Morita T (eds), Textbook of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care, Second Edition, USA, CRC Press, pp 1269-1275, 2015