INRODUCTION: The need for training cancer care professionals on psychosocial issues in oncology has been reported as a relevant area. The use of movies has been repeatedly showed to be a powerful didactic instrument in psychiatry. The aim of this study was to examine the use of movies dealing with cancer subjects as a possible further tool in training cancer care professionals. METHODS: The study, as a part of a more general one concerning cancer and the media, examined the most important movies produced over the last 50 years which explicitly contained cancer themes. The Morandini Movie Dictionary, the web sites (e.g. Cinema and Disabilities), with the addition of movie reviews from specialized magazines, were employed for the survey. RESULTS: 137 titles were selected and classified according to time of production . A full descriptive analysis of the story was performed in order to classify the movies by main themes (e.g., doctor-patient relationship, family issues, death and dying) and the main psychosocial implication (e.g. emotional reactions and coping, social support, spirituality). A series of short video-clips were created to be used in Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer Care workshops for cancer care professionals. DISCUSSION: The study showed that significant didactic material deriving from cancer movies can be easily and flexibly inserted in different formats of psycho-oncology workshops in order to favour awareness, introspection and discussion (in small and in large groups) of participants.
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