Group Support

Barbara Lubrano Di Ciccone, Tiffany D. Floyd, David W. Kissane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Group support allows patients to address cancer-related concerns while also receiving emotional support from others with similar experiences. Such social support is known to act as a buffer against the negative effects of stress. Many types of psychosocial group interventions are available to cancer patients and their families, so it is important to first draw distinctions between them and what they aim to offer. Although groups vary in terms of the specific objectives that are emphasised, in this context they all share the overall goal of helping patients to cope more effectively with the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual sequelae of cancer and its treatment. This chapter looks at three types of psychosocial group intervention, namely, psychoeducational groups, psychotherapy groups, and community support groups. The tasks of the group leader include preparing patients for group membership, culture building, and maintaining focus on the cancer. Disruptions to the group range from difficult members to disease progression and loss of a group member. Challenges to the group process include transference/countertransference.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnhancing Cancer Care: Complementary therapy and support
EditorsJennifer Barraclough
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780191730023
ISBN (Print)9780199297559
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer patients
  • Community support groups
  • Countertransference
  • Culture building
  • Group support
  • Psychoeducational groups
  • Psychosocial group interventions
  • Psychotherapy groups
  • Social support
  • Transference

Cite this