Carmen Loiselle, Ph.D.

Carmen Loiselle, Ph.D.

Under the scientific direction of Dr. Carmen Loiselle, Hope & Cope continues to be actively involved in several cutting edge projects that focus on the patient and family experience in cancer. Half a dozen projects have documented cancer-related needs across the life span from young adults, families with minor children and the elderly (70 +). Research on the patient/family experience is key to understanding the unique and shared perceptions and needs of those affected by cancer. The findings from these studies help tailor the care provided to patients and their loved ones.

Breast & Bone Health Program – A new multidisciplinary program focusing on bone health in breast cancer

Some women with breast cancer are at higher risk for osteoporosis, bone fragility and fracture due to the nature of their cancer treatments. Hope & Cope and the Segal Cancer Centre are currently piloting a new program dedicated to promoting bone health in breast cancer.  This has been made possible through a generous grant from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. The innovative Breast & Bone Health program is a team effort in which a physiotherapist and nurse work together to navigate patients through research-informed activities to protect, improve, and care for bone health in an oncology setting. The program is led by Dr. Loiselle and her team (Lapointe, J., Dalzell, M. A., O’Brien, S., Lau, G.J. & Ibrahim, M.). It covers areas such as awareness raising, education, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications. For more information, please contact [email protected]

Accessibility of personalized cancer information

Because of its wide accessibility, the internet has become a popular destination for individuals seeking cancer information. Unfortunately, information on the internet is not always reliable or relevant. Funded by CIHR, Dr. Loiselle and a team of researchers (Lauzier, S., Maunsell, E., Vuong, T., Lee, V., & Duschene, T.) embarked on a large randomized controlled trial to study the effects of the Oncology Interactive NavigatorTM, a high quality Canadian web-based cancer resource ( The research team has completed recruitment and data collection. The next step will be to analyze the data to examine how this online tool affects patients’ experience with cancer.

Unique patient populations

Through the course of cancer care, different patient populations have distinct needs. Dr. Loiselle worked with several nursing graduate students to explore and document patients’ unique experiences. One study looked at the perceptions of patients who receive special backpacks from VOBOC, a  foundation aimed to provide support for adolescents and young adults with cancer ( The second explored the experience of patients who used Hope & Cope’s CancerFight Club, a web-based resource geared to young adults ( Additional studies documented the experience of patients who face other major stressors in their lives, for instance,  individuals with cancer who also are raising young children and  patients with cancer who also are coping with other illnesses (such as diabetes and heart disease). Altogether, these studies help to highlight that each patient is a whole-person with unique challenges and needs

Arts-based knowledge translation

Conversations surrounding palliative and end-of-life care are challenging for patients, family members, and healthcare providers. To this end, Dr. Brenda Sabo from Dalhousie University is developing a play based on stories from people affected by advanced cancer. Emily Drake, Hope & Cope’s Young Adult Program Director, is working with Dr. Sabo, who plans to have performances for healthcare providers and the public in Halifax, Toronto, and Montreal. This project is funded by the Canadian Cancer Society

Louis Levesque Research Scholars

Fay Strohschein

Fay Strohschein is a doctoral candidate at McGill Ingram School of Nursing who is working with Dr. Carmen Loiselle and Dr. Howard Bergman. She is studying the process of cancer treatment decision-making among older men and women. In addition to support from the Hope & Cope Levesque Research Funds, Fay is funded by the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation, the Fonds de recherché du Québec-Santé, the Psychosocial Oncology Research Training (PORT) program, and the Quebec Network for Research on Aging (Réseau Québécois de recherche sur le vieillissement).

Jamie Penner

Jamie Penner is also a doctoral candidate at the McGill Ingram School of Nursing. She is working with Dr. Robin Cohen in the development and pilot testing of a home-based physical activity intervention for family caregivers of people with advanced cancer. Jamie is funded by doctoral fellowships from the CIHR, the Louis Levesque Research Funds, and the PORT program. She is also supported by a McGill Graduate Excellence Fellowship.

Select publications and presentations

Rashi, C., Wittman, T., Tsimicalis, A., & Loiselle, C.G. (2015). Balancing Illness and Parental Demands: Coping with Cancer While Raising Minor Children. Oncology Nursing Forum, 42(4), 337-344.

Loiselle, C.G., Peters, O., Haase, K.R., Girouard, L., Koerner, A., Wiljer, D., & Fitch, M. (2013). Virtual navigation in colorectal cancer and melanoma: An exploration of patients’ views. Supportive Care in Cancer, 21(8), 2289-2296.

Lau, G.J., Lapointe, J., Dalzell, M.A., Smirnow, N., Ibrahim, M., Beloff, E., Seguin, C., Tremblay, N., Duncan, L., O’Brien, S., Loiselle, C.G. (October 4, 2015). The Breast & Bone Health Program: A transdisciplinary model of care to proactively address bone health in breast cancer. Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology annual conference, Toronto, Ontario, October 4 – 7, 2015.

Edward, D., O’Brien, S., Robitaille, A., Sateren, W., & Loiselle, C.G. (2015) Living with advanced, metastatic cancer and end-of-life issues – adolescent and young adult unique perspectives. Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care conference, Ottawa, Ontario, Oct. 29 – Nov. 1, 2015.

Loiselle, C.G., Sateren, W. (July 31, 2015).  Patients’ perceptions of cancer care in relation to their overall satisfaction in a large network of Canadian urban cancer centres.  World Congress of Psycho-Oncology.  From national to global: Implementing the standard of psychosocial care in oncology. International Psychosocial Oncology Society (IPOS) and American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) Conference, July 28-August 1, 2015. Washington, DC, USA.

Loiselle, C.G. et al. (2014, November) Better bones in breast cancer: Proactively addressing bone health in women with breast cancer. 2e Journée de la recherche en sciences infirmières Chantal‐Caron. Longueuil, Quebec, November 26, 2014.

Loiselle, C.G., Batist, G., Lambert, S. & Sateren, W. (2014). Accounting for patients’ cancer-related preferences in an era of personalized medicine and person-centred care: A promising convergence. 16th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology and Psychosocial Academy (IPOS 2014), Integrating psycho-oncology into mainstream cancer care: From research to action, Lisbon, Portugal October 20-24, 2014.

Penner JL, Dalzell MA, Ducharme F, Sabiston C, Cohen SR. (2015). Acceptability of a Home-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Family Caregivers of People with Advanced Cancer. Poster presentation at the European Association of Palliative Care Conference. May 8-10th, Copenhagen, Denmark. European Journal of Palliative Care Suppl.

Penner, J.L. (April 2014). Development of a Home-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Family Caregivers of People with Advanced Cancer. Oral Presentation at the 2014 Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology Conference: The Heart of the Matter Connecting Knowledge, Creativity, & Compassion, April 30 – May 2, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Strohschein, F. J., Schreiber, R. S., Bottorff, J. L., Ducharme, F., Bergman, H., & Loiselle, C. G. (2014, April). Coming to decisions about cancer treatment: Understanding processes among older men and women with colorectal cancer. Oral presentation at the Qualitative Cancer Research Conference, Berlin, Germany, April 28 – 29, 2014.

Strohschein, F. J., Schreiber, R. S., Bottorff, J. L., Ducharme, F., Bergman, H., & Loiselle, C. G. (2014, May). Understanding the meaning of age in cancer treatment decision-making among older men and women with colorectal cancer. Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, Winnipeg, Canada, April 30 – May 2, 2014.

Don't miss these free public lectures for cancer survivors!
Reserve your spot by calling 514 340-3616.

Breast Cancer and Nutrition
November 22
6:30 pm - 8 pm

Nutrition can be a confusing topic at the best of times. Oncology dietitian Kristina Bianca Mullahoo will provide you with up-to-date information during this free lecture at the Cancer Wellness Centre.

November 23
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Chemo brain is a common and worrisome side effect of treatment. If you are looking for strategies to help you cope, this lecture is for you!
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Early morning delivery of 25 packets of fresh herbs for sale. Today's selection: pineapple mint, spike lavender, rosemary, yellow, purple and green sage. Get yours for only $3 each!

Découvrez le goût particulier et les propriétés bénéfiques des herbes de notre jardin.
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Choose from 150 packets of herbs from our garden, including coveted varieties not sold in grocery stores such as pineapple mint and magic mountain basil. As the cold weather settles in, what could be more comforting than a cup of mint tea, a dash of lavender in your salad or basil in your soup? Only $3.00 - $4.00 per packet.
Come early for the best selection! Proceeds will be used to make next year’s garden even better.

Choisissez parmi 150 paquets d’herbe de notre jardin, comprenant des variétés convoitées, qu’on ne trouve pas dans les magasins, telles que ananas et menthe ou basilic de montagne magique. Au moment où le froid hivernal s’installe, quoi de plus réconfortant qu’une tasse de thé à la menthe, un brin de lavande dans votre salade ou du basilic dans votre soupe? Prix imbattable: 3 $ à 4 $, le paquet. Venez tôt pour profiter de la meilleure sélection! Les profits serviront à développer et à améliorer le jardin l’an prochain!
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Unique herbs for sale

November 13, 2017, 10:00am - November 17, 2017, 3:00pm

Choose from 150 packets of herbs from our garden, including coveted varieties not sold in grocery stores such as pineapple mint and magic mountain basil. As the cold weather settles in, what could be ...

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Our volunteers are the best! In this 10:36 video, filmed at our Open House, Mark Samoilovich explains what motivated him to plant a fabulous herb garden at the Wellness Centre while Bluma Blicher talks about the rewards of giving back.

Nous sommes très reconnaissants aux bénévoles Mark Samoilovich et Bluma Blicher.
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“Yesterday was the fourth survivorship day conference that we have attended. Both my husband and I agree that this was by far the best one. Not once did we look at the clock. We were captivated from beginning to end. I want to thank you, especially as my husband was diagnosed with cancer two months ago. He walked away from this conference with a positive feeling.”

Marcella and Robbie