Numerous articles have demonstrated that patients undergoing treatment for cancer experience distress. Research has also shown that patients whose distress is effectively identified and treated may tolerate their chemotherapy better and have improved quality of life. Oncology nurses at the Lowell General Hospital Cancer Center, through their participation in the Breast Cancer Care Measures portion of the ONS Foundation-supported Breast Cancer Quality Measures Set pilot and the Oncology Quality Collaborative, identified that the distress assessment used at their institution was ineffective. The assessment tool did not identify the reason for the patient's distress and therefore was ineffective at triggering appropriate interventions needed for resolution of the patient's distress. The following article highlights the process by which the Lowell General Hospital Cancer Center implemented a new distress assessment tool and uses a patient case study to illustrate its effectiveness.
Eaton, L.H., & Tipton, J.M. (2009). <i>Putting Evidence Into Practice: Improving oncology patient outcomes.</i> Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.
Gaston-Johansson, F., Haisfeld-Wolfe, M.E., Reddick, B., Goldstein, N., & Lawal, T.A. (2013). The relationships among coping strategies, religious coping, and spirituality in African American women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy. <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 40</i>, 120-131. doi:10.1188/13.ONF.120-131
Lev, E.L., Daley, K.M., Conner, N.E., Reith, M., Fernandez, C., & Owen, S.V. (2001). An intervention to increase quality of life and self-care efficacy and decrease symptoms in breast cancer patients. <i>Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice, 15</i>, 277-294.
National Cancer Institute. (2012) Psychological stress and cancer. Retrieved from <a target="_blank" href='http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/stress'>http://www.can...
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. (2014). <i>NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Distress management</i> v.1.2014. Retrieved from <a target="_blank" href='http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/distress.pdf'>http:/...
Sarna, L. (1998). Effectiveness of structured nursing assessment of symptom distress in advanced lung cancer. <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 25</i>, 1041-1048.
Zabalegui, A. (1999). Coping strategies and psychological distress in patient with advanced cancer. <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 26</i>, 1511-1518.