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Sultan, Serge

Full Professor


Sultan, Serge

Research expertise

My research lies at the crossroads of health psychology and clinical psychology.

In my current work, two lines of research can be distinguished. First, I am trying to identify the psychological repercussions of disease, taking account of the central aspects of quality of life and adjustment to the illness.

I am interested in measuring and detecting the emotional distress and psychopathological repercussions of disease. This modelling and the subsequent measurement are an essential step leading to psychological intervention. Second, I study relations between patients and caregivers, through concepts like empathetic understanding. I am trying to define and measure clinical empathy, to understand the factors promoting and inhibiting empathy, and to assess the health effects of clinical empathy.

In particular, I am developing research in the field of cancer and psychosocial oncology, taking account of the impact of and adjustment to illness for the individual, couples and family. Accordingly, my work concerns both child and adult psychology.

My work is based on a constant back and forth between research and practice, so as to ask clinically relevant research questions and to enrich clinical activity with new data.

My laboratory is based at the CHU Sainte-Justine research centre, where I am responsible for the quality of life theme of the Centre of Excellence in Immunology-Hematology-Oncology. This team also welcomes doctoral candidates, post-doctoral fellows, and MSc and honours thesis students.

Areas of expertise


  1. Fasse, L., Sultan, S., Flahault, C., MacKinnon, C., & Dolbeault, S. Current concepts on spousal bereavement following cancer: A systematic review of the literature. Psycho-Oncology.   Available online.
  2. Fiszer, C., Brédart, A., Sultan, S., Dolbeault, S. Prevalence and predictors of the supportive care needs of women diagnosed with breast cancer: A systematic review. Psycho-Oncology. Available online.
  3. Boinon, D., Sultan, S., Dauchy, S. Changes in psychological adjustment over the course of treatment for breast cancer: The predictive role of social sharing and social support. Psycho-Oncology.   Available online.
  4. Georgin-Lavialle, S., Moura-Silva, D., … Sultan, S., Hermine, O. (2013). Leukocyte telomere length in mastocytosis: correlations with depression and perceived stress. Brain, Behavior & Immunity. Available online
  5. Charles, C. Sultan, S., Bungener, C., Mateu, C., Lanoy, E., Dauchy, S., Verschoore, M., Robert, C. (2013). Impact des toxicités cutanées associées aux thérapies ciblées sur la qualité de vie. Résultats d’une étude pilote longitudinale. Bulletin du Cancer, 100 : 213-222.
  6. Brédart, A., Kop, J.-L., De Pauw, A., Caron, O., Sultan, S., Leblond, D., … Dolbeault, S. (2013). Short-term psychological impact of the BRCA1/2 test result in women with breast cancer according to their perceived probability of genetic predisposition to cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 108(5), 1012-1020. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.599.
  7. Fasse, L., Flahault, C., & Sultan, S. (2013). Expérience de pré-deuil à l'approche du décès de son conjoint: une analyse phénoménologique interprétative. Psychologie Française. doi: 10.1016/j.psfr.2013.02.001.
  8. Fasse, L., Flahault, C., & Sultan, S. (2013). Le deuil, des signes à l’expérience. Réflexions sur la norme et le vécu de la personne endeuillée à l’heure de la classification du ‘deuil compliqué’. L’Evolution Psychiatrique. doi: 10.1016/j.evopsy.2013.03.002.
  9.  Lelorain, S., Sultan, S., Zenasni, F., Catu-Pinault, A., Jaury, P., Boujut, E., & Rigal, L. (2013). Physicians’ emotional and professional characteristics associated with clinical empathy in French general practitioners. European Journal of General Practice, 19(1), 23-28. doi: 10.3109/13814788.2012.709842.
  10. Malboeuf-Hurtubise, C., Achille, M., Sultan, S., & Vadnais, M. (2013). Mindfulness-based intervention for teenagers with cancer: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 14(135). doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-14-135.
  11. Zenasni, F., Boujut, E., Woerner, A., & Sultan, S. (2012). Burnout and empathy: Three hypotheses. British Journal of General Practice, 62, 346-347.
  12. Zenasni, F., Boujut, E., Bluffel du Vaure, C., Catu-Pinault, A., Rigal, L., Jaury, P., Marie Magnier, A., Falcoff, H. & Sultan, S. (2012). French language adaptation of a clinical empathy scale (JSPE, Hojat) in 308 French family practitioners and associations with characteristics of practice. International Journal of Patient-Centered Medicine, 2, 759-766.
  13. Soulas, T., Sultan, S., Gurruchaga, J.M., Palfi, S., & Fénelon G. (2012) clinically significant changes in spouses of parkinsonians undergoing neurostimulation: mood, burden and quality of life. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders. 18, 602-605.
  14. Boinon, D., Sultan, S., Charles, C., Rosberger, Z., Delaloge, S., & Dauchy, S. (2012). How social sharing and social support explain distress in breast cancer after surgery: the role of alexithymia. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 30, 573–592.
  15. Leblond, D., Brédart, A., Dolbeault, S., De Pauw, A., Stoppa-Lyonnet, D., & Sultan, S. (2012). Perception accuracy of BRCA1/2 mutation predisposition in breast cancer women and associated factors. Bulletin du Cancer, 99(6), 673-684. doi: 10.1684/bdc.2012.1590.
  16. Lelorain, S., Brédart, A., Dolbeault, S., & Sultan, S. (2012). A systematic review of the associations between empathy measures and patient outcomes in cancer care. Psycho-Oncology, 21(12), 1255-1264. doi: 10.1002/pon.2115.
  17. Moura, D.S., Sultan, S., Georgin-Lavialle, S., Barete, S., Lortholary, O., Gaillard, R., & Hermine, O. (2012). Evidence for Cognitive Impairment in Mastocytosis: Prevalence, Features and Correlations to Depression. PLoS ONE, 7(6), e39468. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039468.
  18. Fasse, L., Flahault, C., Brédart, A., Dolbeault, S., Sultan, S. (2012) Deuil et vulnérabilité psychique chez les personnes âgées. Psycho-Oncologie, 6, 231-246.
  19. Leblond, D., Brédart, A., Dolbeault, S., De Pauw, A., Stoppa-Lyonnet, D., Flahault, C. & Sultan, S. (2011). Impact psychologique d’un résultat incertain après exploration de la prédisposition génétique BRCA 1/2 : Une revue systématique de la littérature. Bulletin du Cancer, 98, 184-198.
  20. Soulas, T., Sultan, S., Gurruchaga, J.M., Palfi, S., Fénelon G. (2011). Consequences of Subthalamic Deep Brain Stimulation in Patients with Parkinson’s disease: The Impact of Coping and Distress on Change in Quality of Life and Motor Functioning. World Neurosurgery, 75, 525-532.
  21. Charles, C., Ninot, G., & Sultan, S. (2011). Représentations des patients et observance des traitements par corticostéroïdes inhalés dans l’asthme. Revue de question systématique sur la période 1999-2009. Revue des Maladies Respiratoires, 28, 628-635.
  22. Sultan, S., Attali, C., Gilberg, S., Zenasni, F., & Hartemann, A. (2011). Physicians’ understanding of patients’ personal representations of their diabetes: Accuracy and association with self-care. Psychology & Health, 26, 101-117.
  23. Boinon, D., Charles, C., Dauchy, S., Sultan, S. (2011). Les effets de l’expression émotionnelle sur l’ajustement au cancer : Une revue systématique de la littérature. Psycho-Oncologie, 5, 173-190.
  24. Silva Moura, D., Sultan, S., Chanderis, M.-O., Barete, S., Pillet, N., & Hermine, O. (2011) Depression in patients with mastocytosis: prevalence, features, and effects of masitinib. PLOS One. 6(10): e26375.
  25. Soulas, T., Arsac, C., Cédat, C., Sultan, S., & Flahault, C. (2011) Quelles représentations du psychologue hospitalier chez les personnes âgées de plus de 65 ans ? Revue Québécoise de Psychologie, 32, 3, 1-24.
  26. Sultan, S., & Fisher, L. (2010). Depression as a Proxy of Negative Affect? A Critical Examination of the Use of the CES-D in Type 2 Diabetes. European Review of Applied Psychology, 60, 97-104.
  27. Besancenet, C., & Sultan, S. (2010). Evolution des émotions et de la satisfaction corporelle. Suivi de six mois après sevrage d'alcool. Alcoologie et Addictologie, 32, 25-32.
  28. Brédart, A., Sultan, S., & Regnault, A. (2010). Patient satisfaction instruments for cancer clinical research or practice: A systematic review. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, 10, 129-141.
  29. Sultan, S. (2010). Translational research experiences in Health Psychology with the Rorschach. Rorschachiana, 31, 113-116.
  30. Sultan, S., Luminet, O., & Hartemann, A. (2010). Cognitive and anxiety symptoms in screening for clinical depression in diabetes: A systematic examination of diagnostic performances of the HADS and BDI-SF. Journal of Affective Disorders, 123, 332-336.
  31. Flahault, C., & Sultan, S. (2010).  On being a child of an ill parent: A Rorschach investigation of adaptation to parental cancer compared to other illness in a group of 102 children. Rorschachiana, 31, 43-69.

Ouvrages et chapitres récents :

Sultan, S. & Chudzik, L. (Eds.) (2010). Du diagnostic au traitement : Rorschach et MMPI-2 Wavre : Mardaga. 254 pages.

Sultan, S. & Varescon, I. (Eds.) (2012). Psychologie de la santé. Presses Universitaires de France.

Sultan, S. (2013). Préface. In O. Luminet (Ed.) Psychologie des émotions, nouvelles perspectives pour la cognition, la personnalité et la santé. Bruxelles : De Boeck.

Moullec, G., Lavoie, K., Sultan, S. (2012). Vulnérabilité affective et dysrégulation émotionnelle. In Psychologie de la santé. Paris : Presses Universitaires de France.

Lelorain, S., & Sultan, S. (2012). Approches interactionnistes centrées sur la relation de soin. In Psychologie de la santé. Paris : Presses Universitaires de France.

Fasse, L., & Sultan, S. (2012). Intervention psychologique auprès des endeuillés. In Psychologie de la santé. Paris : Presses Universitaires de France.

Sultan, S., Christophe, V, & Lelorain, S. (2012). Régulation émotionnelle, stress et maladie. Chapitre 26, In M. Mikolajczak et M. Desseilles (Ed.) Traité de régulation émotionnelle. Bruxelles : De Boeck.

Sultan, S., & Chudzik, L. (2010). Du diagnostic au traitement dans la pratique psychologique. In Du diagnostic au traitement : Rorschach et MMPI-2 (pp. 9-15). Wavre, Belgique : Mardaga.

Sultan, S., & Chudzik, L. (2010). Organiser une prise en charge à l’aide du Rorschach et du MMPI-2. In Du diagnostic au traitement : Rorschach et MMPI-2 (pp. 163-186). Wavre, Belgique : Mardaga.

Kostogianni, N., & Sultan, S. (2010). L’inquiétant désarroi de Lola : un cas clinique de schizophrénie débutante. In Du diagnostic au traitement en psychopathologie : Rorschach et MMPI-2 (pp. 89-111). Wavre, Belgique : Mardaga.

Sultan, S., & Chudzik, L. (2010). Conclusion. In Du diagnostic au traitement : Rorschach et MMPI-2 (pp. 227-229). Wavre, Belgique : Mardaga.

Courses given in the Department this term