Psycho-Oncology Latino Initiative

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The IHCD Service aims to improve access to psychosocial services for people with cancer in the Latino community through research, outreach, and education.

Our Research

Access to Psychosocial Services

The IHCD team is conducting research to determine how to improve access to psychosocial services by Latinos with cancer and what barriers Latino patients face when accessing such services.

Cultural Adaptation of Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy

IHCD researchers are adapting a mental health intervention called Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy (MCP) so that it is appropriate for Latinos with advanced cancer. MCP is an intervention developed at MSK, and it has been proven, with predominantly non-Latino whites, to be effective at reducing distress and the desire for hastened death, and at increasing spiritual well-being and a sense of meaning and purpose in life. This research project culturally adapts, studies, and will eventually disseminate this psychotherapy intervention for Latinos with advanced cancer. This research is being conducted in New York City, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

Spirituality in Latinos with Cancer

The IHCD Service is studying the role of spirituality and religiosity in Latino patients’ adjustment, quality of life, medical decision-making, and access to psychosocial and supportive services.

Training and Educational Opportunities

Formación de Investigación Psicosocial Oncológica Latinoamericana
Training and Resources in Psychosocial Oncology for Latin America

This international collaboration connects psycho-oncologists, clinicians, and researchers who are interested in psychosocial oncology. The goal of the Formación de Investigación Psicosocial Oncológica Latinoamericana (FIPOL) is to develop capacity, training opportunities, research collaboration, and awareness about the latest events and developments in the field of psycho-oncology. The network includes collaborators from MSK and throughout Spain and Latin America, including Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. FIPOL has two main initiatives: an interactive website and a monthly remote seminar led by psycho-oncology clinicians, researchers, and other experts.

Contact Us

For more information about FIPOL’s activities, contact Rosario Costas Muniz at costasmr@mskcc.org.

For more information about the IHCD Service’s research, contact Nicole Roberts at robertsn@mskcc.org.

Research Articles

Costas-Muñiz, R., Hunter-Hernandez, M., Garduño-Ortega, O., Morales, J., Gany, F. (2017). Ethnic Differences in Psychosocial Services Use Among Non-Latina White and Latina Breast Cancer Survivors, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 2017; 35(4):424-437. Epub 2017 Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 28332946. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5647778. doi:10.1080/07347332.2017.1310167 Available at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=28332946

Costas-Muñiz, R., Leng, J., Aragones, A., Ramirez, J., Roberts, N., Mujawar, M.I., Gany, F.  (2015). Association of Socio-economic and Practical Unmet Needs with Self-reported Nonadherence to Cancer Treatment Appointments in Low-income Latino and Black Cancer Patients. Journal of Ethnicity and Health. 2016;21(2):118-128. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2015.1034658. Epub 2015 May 19. PubMed PMID: 25989483; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4653085. Available at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25989483 

Costas-Muñiz, R., Leng, J., Diamond, L., Aragones, A., Ramirez, J., Gany, F.  (2015). Psychosocial Correlates of Appointment Keeping in Immigrant Cancer Patients.  Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 2015;33(2):107-123. doi: 10.1080/07347332.2014.992084. Epub 2015 Jan 9. PubMed PMID: 25574581; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4876631. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25574581 

Hunter, M., Costas-Muñiz, R., Gany, F. (2015). Missed opportunity: Spirituality as a bridge to resilience in Latinos with cancer. Journal of Religion and Health. 2015 Dec; 54(6):2367-75. doi: 10.1007/s10943-015-0020-y. PubMed PMID: 25711211; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4961247. Available at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25711211

Pérez-Ramírez, E., Torres-Blasco, N., Garduño-Ortega, O., Castro, E. Costas-Muñiz, R. (2017). Necesidades de Entrenamiento de Investigación en Medicina Conductual, Psicología de la Salud y Psicooncología en Estudiantes Graduados en Puerto Rico. Research Training Needs in Behavioral Medicine, Health Psychology and Psycho-Oncology of Graduate Students from Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican Journal of Psychology. 2017; 28(2):296-313.