Esplen, Mary Jane

R.N., Ph.D.  |  mesplen@uhnres.utoronto.ca

Dr. Mary Jane Esplen is a CIHR scientist at the University Health Network in Toronto and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, with a cross appointment to the Faculty of Nursing.   A CIHR scientist, Dr. Esplen has a strong interest in developing measurement tools and psychosocial and psychotherapy interventions for individuals with cancer and for cancer genetic populations. She leads a research program that focuses on psychological aspects of cancer and on the psychosocial impact of being at high risk for cancer. 

Dr. Esplen has given numerous workshops, keynote addresses and seminars based on her work as a therapist and researcher working in psychosocial oncology. She has a strong interest in developing psychometric instruments and behavioural interventions for cancer genetic populations and individuals with cancer, with a strong expertise in group therapy approaches. Dr. Esplen is the past President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO). Most recently, she accepted a position as the inaugural director of the de Souza Institute- a knowledge transfer and training centre to enhance expertise and capacity for Oncology Nursing.

Dr. Esplen does clinical practice in psychosocial-oncology, conducting group therapy interventions and providing individual counselling to women and men at risk for, or who are dealing with, cancer or in palliative care.

Dr. Esplen holds a Bachelor of Nursing from the Faculty of Nursing from the University of Toronto (1991), a PhD in Medical Science with a specialty in psychosomatic medicine from the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto (1996) and completed a post-doctorate fellowship in cancer genetics at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto (1997).

Selected Presentations and Publications: 

PUBLICATIONS: (more recent than 2007)

Peer- Reviewed Manuscripts: (In press/ Published)

1. Cappelli M, Esplen MJ, Wilson BJ, Dorval M, Bottorff J, Ly M, Carroll J, Allanson J, Rayson D. Identifying mental health services in clinical genetic settings (Clinical Genetics, accepted June 2009).

2. June Carroll, Andrea Rideout, Brenda J Wilson, Judith Allanson, Sean Blaine, Mary Jane Esplen, SA Farrell, Gail E Graham, Jennifer MacKenzie, Wendy Meschino, Fiona Miller, Joanne Miyazaki, Preeti Prakash, Cheryl Shuman, Anne Summers, Sherry Taylor. The Genetics Education Project: Changing primary care providers’ knowledge, attitudes and confidence in delivering genetics services. (Canadian Family Physician, accepted Feb 2009)

3. Esplen, MJ, Stuckless, N, Hunter, J, Narod, S, Liede, A, Metcalfe, K, Butler, K, Glendon, G, Irwin, E, Scott, J. The BRCA Self Concept Scale: A new instrument to measure self-concept in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Psycho-Oncology, Earlyview, 2009.

4. Esplen, MJ, Stuckless, N., Berk, T., Butler, K, Gallinger, S. The FAP Self Concept Scale (Adult Form). Familial Cancer, 8 (1): 39 – 50, 2009.

5. McLean L, Jones J, Rydall A, Walsh A, Esplen MJ, et al. A couples intervention for patients facing advanced cancer and their spouse caregivers: Outcomes of a pilot study. Psycho-Oncology, 17: 1152 – 1156, 2008.

6. Clarke, S, Butler, K, Esplen, MJ. The phases of disclosing BRCA1/2 genetic information to offspring. Psycho-Oncology, 17: 797 – 803, 2008.

Non-Peer Reviewed Publications:

1. Kate Johnson, More Magazine, Body and Mind – Generation next, February/ March 2009 p 115 – 118.
2. Sharratt, Anna, MJ Esplen quoted in “Bringing Sexy Back” glowhealth magazine, p. 40 – 43, Fall 2008/ Winter 2009.
3. Esplen, MJ. Quoted in the “The Spirit Within” Visualization Can Help You Find Your Peaceful Centre, Look Good, Feel Better Magazine, p. 47 - 49, Chatelaine Magazine Insert, August 2008.

Published Abstracts:

1. Esplen MJ, Harrington S, Aronson M, Rothenmund H, Semotiuk K, Wong J, McLaughlin J, Gallinger S. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cancer Risk and Health Education in Relatives of Colorectal Cancer Patients. Psycho-Oncology 18(Suppl. 2): S275, 2009.

2. Mary Jane Esplen, Karen Fergus, Ellen Warner, Jiahui Wong, Susan Clarke. Body Image, Sexual and Psychosocial Functioning in Women with Breast Cancer: Can We Fix What We’ve Broken? A Randomized Trial. Psycho-Oncology 18(Suppl. 2): S73, 2009.

3. Vendel Petersen Helle, Esplen Mary Jane, Ladelund Steen,Carlsson Christina, Bernstein Inge, Nilbert Mef. Self-concept in the Danish HNPCC cohort. Psycho-Oncology 18(Suppl. 2): S136, 2009.

4. Wight Moffatt, F, Hodnett, E, Esplen, MJ, & Watt-Watson, J. Guided Imagery Relaxation Effects on Blood Pressure in Pregnant Women with Hypertension: Results of a Preliminary RCT. Hypertension in Pregnancy, 27(4), 514, 2008.

5. Esplen, Mary Jane, Harrington, Sarah, Aronson, Melyssa, Rothenmund, Heidi, Smith, Kara, and Wong, Jiahui. A RCT of Cancer Risk and Health Education in Relatives of Colorectal Cancer Patients. Psycho-Oncology, 17: S2, S1 – S348, 2008.

PRESENTATIONS: (more recent than 2007)

Invited Presentations:

1. Esplen, MJ. Invited Presentation- “Body Image and Sexual Functioning Among Women who have had Breast Cancer - A Support Group Model Incorporating Guided Imagery”. Oncology Nursing Research Rounds, Princess Margaret Hospital, September 17, 2009.

2. Esplen, MJ. Update on progress of the de Souza Institute: Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, September 1, 2009.

3. Esplen, MJ. Presentations on the de Souza Institute, Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, June 10, 2009.

4. Esplen, MJ. Presentations on the de Souza Institute, Sudbury Regional Cancer Centre, March 23, 2009.

5. Esplen, MJ. Presentations on the de Souza Institute, Palliative Care Study Group Symposium, Toronto, March 21, 2009.

6. Esplen, MJ. Presentations on the de Souza Institute, Thunder Bay Regional Cancer Centre, March 17, 2009.

7. Esplen, MJ. Presentations on the de Souza Institute, Provincial Nursing Rounds for Cancer Care Ontario, March 16, 2009.

8. Esplen, MJ. Presentations on the de Souza Institute, Oncology Study Group Symposium, Toronto, March 13, 2009.

9. Esplen, MJ. Presentations on the de Souza Institute, Kingston Regional Cancer Centre, February 20, 2009.

10. Esplen, MJ. Invited Talk: Impact of Genetic Testing in Cancer: Building Interventions and Tools for Individuals and Families- What Have We Learned? Nursing Research: New Knowledge and Innovation”- The Old Mill, Toronto, January 9th, 2009.

11. Esplen, MJ. Invited Plenary: Psychosocial and Behavioral Impact of Genetic Testing in Cancer. Inaugural General Internal Medicine Symposium, Toronto General Hospital, UHN, October 10th, 2008.

Academic Presentations:

1. Mary Jane Esplen, Karen Fergus, Ellen Warner, Jiahui Wong, Susan Clarke. Body Image, Sexual and Psychosocial Functioning in Women with Breast Cancer: Can We Fix What We’ve Broken? A Randomized Trial. IPOS 11th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, Vienna Austria, 21 – 25 June 2009.

2. Susan Clarke, Mary Jane Esplen, Brenda Toner, Margaret Fitch, Louise Bordeleau. Development and Evaluation of a Decision Aid for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Mutation Carriers in Disclosing Genetic Risk Information to their Offspring. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

3. Jiahui Wong, Kate Butler, Sarah Harrington, Melyssa Aronson, Heidi Rothenmund, Kara Semotiuk, Mary Jane Esplen. A RCT of Cancer Risk and health education in relatives of colorectal cancer patients. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

4. Christine Way, Valerie Ludlow, Kathy Watkins, Holly LeDrew, Mary Jane Esplen, Deborah Gregory, Patrick Parfrey. Development and testing of the hereditary disease and genetic testing (HD-GT) Scale. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

5. Helle Vendel Petersen, Mary Jane Esplen, Steen Ladelund, Christina Carlsson, Inge Bernstein, Mef Nilbert. Self concept in a population-based non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) cohort. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

6. Noreen Stuckless, Mary Jane Esplen, Kate Bulter, Steve Gallinger, Melyssa Aronson, Heidi Rothenmund, Kara Semotiuk, Jackie Stokes, Jane Green. Development and validation of an instrument to measure the impact of genetic testing on self-concept in hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

7. Christine Maheu, Mary Jane Esplen, Wendy Meschino, Joanne Honeyford, Ingrid Ambus, Xin Gao. Development of a psycho-educational telephone (PET) intervention for managing uncertainty for individuals with inconclusive BRCA1/2 genetic testing results. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

8. Kimberley Hill, Tirtza Spiegel, Kate Butler, Mary Jane Esplen, Ellen Warner. Psychosocial distress among BRCA mutation carriers undergoing MRI-based screening. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

9. Paola Ardiles, Mary Jane Esplen, KC Chang, Jiahui Wong, Kate Butler. Interest and health information preferences for genetic testing for colorectal cancer in a Chinese community sample. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

10. Kathy Watkins, Christine Way, Valerie Ludlow, Holly LeDrew, Mary Jane Esplen, Deborah Gregory, Patrick Parfrey. Development and pilot testing of the hereditary disease and psychosocial and behavioural adjustment (HD-PBA) Scale. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

11. Kathy Watkins, Christine Way, Valerie Ludlow, Jacqueline Strokes, Mary Jane Esplen, Jane Green, Patrick Parfrey. HNPCC carriers experience with the health care system post-genetic testing: struggling to adjust and barriers to screening. CAPO Survivorship Transitions & Transformations Conference, Vancouver, BC, April 1- 4, 2009.

12. Susan Clarke, Mary Jane Esplen, Brenda Toner, Margaret Fitch, Louise Bordeleau. Development and Evaluation of a Decision Aid for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Mutation Carriers in Disclosing Genetic Risk Information to their Offspring. CAPO Survivorship Transitions & Transformations Conference, Vancouver, BC, April 1- 4, 2009.

13. Lynne Robinson, Mary Jane Esplen, Erin Fredericks. Development of a community of practice website. CAPO Survivorship Transitions & Transformations Conference, Vancouver, BC, April 1- 4, 2009.

14. Karen Fergus, Deborah McLeod, Ellen Warner, Mary Jane Esplen, Sandra Gardner, Barbara Fitzgerald, Marg Fitch, Leeat Granek. An online psychoeducational intervention for young women with breast cancer and their partners. CAPO Survivorship Transitions & Transformations Conference, Vancouver, BC, April 1- 4, 2009.

15. Mary Jane Esplen, Ellen Warner, Karen Fergus, Jiahui Wong, Susan Clarke. Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning in Women with Breast Cancer: Can We Fix What We’ve Broken? A Randomized Trial. CAPO Survivorship Transitions & Transformations Conference, Vancouver, BC, April 1- 4, 2009.

16. Mary Jane Esplen, Ellen Warner, Karen Fergus, Jiahui Wong, Susan Clarke. Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning in Women with Breast Cancer: Can We Fix What We’ve Broken? A Randomized Trial. Poster Panel Presentation, UHN Nursing Research Day, November 2008.

17. Susan Clarke, Mary Jane Esplen, Brenda Toner, Margaret Fitch, Louise Bordeleau. Development and Evaluation of a Family Disclosure Decision Aid for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Mutation Carriers. Poster Panel Presentation, UHN Nursing Research Day, November 2008.

18. Maheu C, Esplen MJ, Meschino, W, Honeyford, J, Gao, X. Development of a psycho-educational telephone (PET) intervention for managing uncertainty for individuals with inconclusive BRCA1/2 genetic testing results. Poster Panel Presentation, UHN Nursing Research Day, November 2008.

19. Carroll JC, Blaine S, Dicks E, Permaul J, Esplen MJ, Warner E, Rothenmund H, Smith K, Worrall G, McLaughlin J. Can a Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Patient Information Booklet affect patients’ perception of CRC risk and screening? North American Primary Care Research Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, November 2008.

20. Blaine S, Carroll JC, Permaul J, Dicks E, Warner E, Esplen MJ, Rothenmund H, Semotiuk K, Worrall G, McLaughlin J. Colorectal cancer risk assessment and management by family physicians. North American Primary Care Research Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, November 2008.

21. Carroll JC, Rideout AJ, Allanson J, Blaine S, Esplen MJ, Farrell S, Graham G, Meschino W, MacKenzie J, Miller F, Miyazaki J, Prakash P, Shuman C, Summers A, Taylor S, Tobin S, Wilson B. Views of Women and Health Care Providers on Maternal Age-Based Prenatal Screening for Chromosome Disorders. North American Primary Care Research Meeting, November 2008.

22. Esplen, Mary Jane, Harrington, Sarah, Aronson, Melyssa, Rothenmund, Heidi, Smith, Kara, and Wong, Jiahui. A RCT of Cancer Risk and Health Education in Relatives of Colorectal Cancer Patients. CGA meeting, Sept. 2008.

23. C. Durno, K. Butler, T. Berk, N. Alingary, MJ. Esplen. Children with familial adenomatous polyposis who underwent early colectomy: psychological, quality of life and pouch outcome. CGA meeting, Sept. 2008.

24. F. Wight Moffatt, E. Hodnett, M.J. Esplen, J. Watt-Watson. Guided Imagery Relaxation Effects on Blood Pressure in Pregnant Women with Hypertension: Results of a Preliminary RCT. 16th World Congress of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP), September 2008, Washington, DC.

25. F. Wight Moffatt, E. Hodnett, M.J. Esplen, J. Watt-Watson. Imagine! Could Guided Imagery Relaxation Help Manage Blood Pressure in Pregnant Women with Hypertension? Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) Annual Convention, San Diego, CA, June 28 to July 1, 2008.
26.
Carroll JC, Rideout AL, Blaine S, Wilson B, Meschino W, Farrell S, Graham G, Allanson J, Esplen MJ, Shuman C, MacKenzie J, Summers A, Miyazaki J. The Genetics Education Project: Health Care Providers’ Evaluation of an Information Aid about Prenatal Screening Tests, 14th International Conference on PN Diagnosis and Therapy, Vancouver, June 2008.

27. Carroll JC, Rideout AL, Blaine S, Wilson B, Meschino W, Farrell S, Graham G, Allanson J, Esplen MJ, Shuman C, MacKenzie J, Summers A, Miyazaki J. The Genetics Education Project: Women’s Evaluation of Guide to Understanding Prenatal Screening Tests, 14th International Conference on PN Diagnosis and Therapy, Vancouver, June 2008.

28. Vodermaier, A, Esplen, MJ. Carrying a BRCA1/2 mutation: Relations of self-esteem, mastery, and perceived stigma with cancer-related anxieties. 10th World Congress, Madrid, Spain, June 2008.

29. Esplen, Mary Jane, Harrington, Sarah, Aronson, Melyssa, Rothenmund, Heidi, Smith, Kara, and Wong, Jiahui. A RCT of Cancer Risk and Health Education in Relatives of Colorectal Cancer Patients. IPOS 10th World Congress, Madrid, Spain, June 9th – 13th, 2008.

30. Mary Jane Esplen, Ellen Warner, Karen Fergus, Jiahui Wong, Susan Clarke. Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning in Women with Breast Cancer: Can We Fix What We’ve Broken? A Randomized Trial. Women’s Mental Health Research Day, University of Toronto, May 16th, 2008.

31. Mary Jane Esplen, Mario Cappelli, Judith Allanson, Joan Bottorff, Michel Dorval, June Carroll, Jonathan Hunter, Brenda Wilson, Melyssa Aronson, Jiahui Wong, Kara Smith, Anne Summers, Tara Power, L Bordeleau. Addressing the Psychosocial Health Care of Patients and Families Obtaining Genetic Services: Need for Psychological Screening. Oral presentation at the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO), Halifax, NS, May 2008.

32. Leung D, Esplen MJ, Peter E, Howell D, Rodin G, Fitch M. Nurses’ Experiences with Cancer Patients Facing the Threat of Mortality. Oral presentation at the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO), Halifax, NS, May 2008.

33. Maheu C, Esplen MJ, Meschino, W, Honeyford, J, Gao, X. Development of a psycho-educational telephone (PRT) intervention for managing uncertainty for individuals with inconclusive BRCA1/2 genetic testing results. Oral presentation at the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO), Halifax, NS, May 2008.

34. Mary Jane Esplen, Ellen Warner, Karen Fergus, Jiahui Wong, Susan Clarke. Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning in Women with Breast Cancer: Can We Fix What We’ve Broken? A Randomized Trial. CBCRA Reasons for Hope 5th Scientific Conference, Vancouver, BC, April 2008.

35. MJ Esplen, J Hunter, M Leszcz, G Glendon, A Thompson, S Messner, W Meschino, E Warner, K Butler, J Wong, J Hoch. Results of a Randomized Trial of a Group Intervention for Women with a Family History of Breast Cancer. CBCRA Reasons for Hope 5th Scientific Conference, Vancouver, BC, April 2008.

36. Mary Jane Esplen, Ellen Warner, Karen Fergus, Jiahui Wong, Susan Clarke. Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning in Women with Breast Cancer: Can We Fix What We’ve Broken? A Randomized Trial. Behavioral Sciences & Health/ Psychosocial Oncology & Palliative Care Dept. Grand Rounds, March 31st, 2008.

37. Meschino W, Esplen MJ et al. The Genetics Education Program: Changing primary care providers’ knowledge, attitudes and confidence in delivering genetics services. American College of Medical Genetics, Phoenix, Arizona, March 2008.

Professional Workshops/ Symposia:

1. Esplen MJ. Invited Workshop. Helping patient and families with loss and grief. Centre for Advanced Studies in Professional Practice, Institute: Innovations in Palliative Care, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto ON, June 5 – 7, 2009.

2. Esplen MJ. Organizer and Leader of Train the Trainer Workshop on “Cancer Genetics”, Toronto ON, May 7, 2009.

3. Kash K, Esplen MJ, Hunter J. Workshop: Do Group Interventions Work for High Risk Individuals. 11th international Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, Toronto ON, April 23 – 24, 2009.

4. Esplen MJ. Organizer and Leader of Train the Trainer Workshop “Psychosocial Care/Emotional Aspects of Cancer Care” for the de Souza Institute, Ottawa ON, March 25, 2009.

University of Toronto