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International conference will examine couples’ coping

by Judy Hughes, communications and marketing last modified May 16, 2013 08:53 AM

The Kent School of Social Work and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at UofL are sponsoring an international conference in Louisville that will focus on how couples cope with the stresses that cancer brings.

“Couples Coping with Cancer-related Stress: Translating Research into Practice,” will run from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 21 at Jewish Hospital’s Rudd Heart & Lung Conference Center, 201 Abraham Flexner Way, with a reception afterward at the Frazier History Museum.

Researchers from Europe, North America and Australia will talk about coping throughout the disease’s course and with diverse types of cancer, ways to promote resilience of couples facing cancer, and translating research into practical ways to help such couples.

The sessions are intended for psychologists, social workers, physicians, nurses, couples and family therapists, researchers who work with cancer patients and their families, and other supportive-care providers who help them adjust to living with the many effects of the illness.

“There’s a very high relationship between how a patient is coping with illness and how the partner is coping,” said Karen Kayser, UofL’s Renato LaRocca chair in oncology social work.

“People are often at a loss in how to support someone with a serious or chronic illness,” she said. “And the partner’s or relative’s own stress can be overlooked during the cancer experience.”

Registration is recommended by May 31 at a cost of $60 (or $75 with social work continuing education unit certification). The cost includes lunch, refreshments and a reception. More information is online or available from Kayser, 502-852-1946.

A preconference course for clinicians is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 20 in Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium on Belknap Campus. The Kentucky Association for Marriage and Family Therapy is sponsoring the master class with Guy Bodenmann, founder of Couples Coping Enhancement Training. More information.

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