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Screening for Distress in Patients With Cancer

Sandra M. Schilli
CJON 2014, 18(6), E103-E106 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.E103-E106

Although distress is common among people with cancer, the current standard of care does not include consistent distress screening. To acquire or maintain accreditation, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer will require cancer centers to have a distress screening program in place by 2015. When evaluating tools to screen for distress in patients with cancer, researchers should evaluate the literature to ascertain that tools have been tested for validity and reliability in the population of patients with cancer. Regardless of the distress screening tool chosen, studies support that screening patients for distress is beneficial to improving quality of life and outcomes by allowing for referral to appropriate interventions.

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