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January 2014

Welcome FSOSW Members

Welcome to the new membership section of our website. You will find a range of resources including the Member Directory, CEU Information, Oncology Toolkit and more. You can keep up to date with all FSOSW news, announcements and updates.

If you have questions or need assistance Contact Us through our website.

ACCC Standards

ACCC Standards
The Association of Community Cancer Centers Cancer Program Guidelines have been established to assist cancer programs that want to develop and/or maintain a comprehensive interdisciplinary program that meets the needs of cancer patients and their families.

  [Download ACCC Standards]

Annual Membership Renewal Info

FSOSW Members, it's time to renew your membership.  FSOSW has released the new member website where you will be able to access many benefits with your FSOSW membership.

In order to renew your membership CLICK HERE or go to the Membership page from the menu at the top.  Renewing your membership is easy.  Select your membership level and click the Payment button.  You will be directed to our credit card processing service, PayPal.  You don't have to be a PayPal member to pay by credit card.  Just select "Don't have a PayPal account" and pay by your choice of card.  Once you have completed payment you will be directed back to the FSOSW website to complete your registration.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to Contact Us.

ACCC Cancer Program Guidelines

ACCC Cancer Program Guidelines
The Association of Community Cancer Centers Cancer Program Guidelines have been established to assist cancer programs that want to develop and/or maintain a comprehensive interdisciplinary program that meets the needs of cancer patients and their families.

These guidelines were developed to reflect the optimal components for a cancer program. The guidelines are not intended to act as an accrediting or credentialing mechanism and are not a list of standards, such as those published by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The guidelines should not be a surrogate for independent medical judgment; they serve only as the term implies: as guidelines to help programs meet the optimal attributes.

  [Download ACCC Cancer Program Guildelines]

Screening for Emotional Distress in Cancer Patients

Screening for Emotional Distress in Cancer Patients: A systematic Review of Assessment Instruments
Andrea Vodermaier, Wolfgang Linden, Christopher Siu

Screening for emotional distress is becoming increasingly common in cancer care. This systematic review examines the psychometric properties of the existing tools used to screen patients for emotional distress, with the goal of encouraging screening programs to use standardized tools that have strong psychometrics. Systematic searches of MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases for English-language studies in cancer patients were performed using a uniform set of key words (eg, depression , anxiety , screening , validation , and scale ), and the retrieved studies were independently evaluated by two reviewers. Evaluation criteria included the number of validation studies, the number of participants, generalizability, reliability, the quality of the criterion measure, sensitivity, and specificity. The literature search yielded 106 validation studies that described a total of 33 screening measures. Many generic and cancer-specific scales satisfied a fairly high threshold of quality in terms of their psychometric properties and generalizability. Among the ultrashort measures (ie, those containing one to four items), the Combined Depression Questions performed best in patients receiving palliative care. Among the short measures (ie, those containing five to 20 items), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale demonstrated adequate psychometric properties. Among the long measures (ie, those containing 21 – 50 items), the Beck Depression Inventory and the General Health Questionaire – 28 met all evaluation criteria. The PsychoSocial Screen for Cancer, the Questionnaire on Stress in Cancer Patients – Revised, and the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist are long measures that can also be recommended for routine screening. In addition, other measures may be considered for specific indications or disease types. [...]

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    Screening for distress in patients with brain cancer using the NCCN’s rapid screening measure

Screening for distress in patients with brain cancer using the NCCN’s rapid screening measure

Screening for distress in patients with brain cancer using the NCCN's rapid screening measure

Stephen T. Keir,
Roberta D. Calhoun-Eagan,
Jonas J. Swartz,
Oussama A. Saleh,
Henry S. Friedman

Article first published online: 31 OCT 2007

DOI: 10.1002/pon.1271

Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Issue

 
Psycho-Oncology
Volume 17, Issue 6, pages 621–625, June 2008

Keir, S. T., Calhoun-Eagan, R. D., Swartz, J. J., Saleh, O. A. and Friedman, H. S. (2008), Screening for distress in patients with brain cancer using the NCCN's rapid screening measure. Psycho-Oncology, 17: 621–625. doi: 10.1002/pon.1271

Author InformationThe Tug McGraw Research Center, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, Durham, NC, USA

Email: Stephen T. Keir (Keir0001@mc.duke.edu)

*Correspondence: Stephen T. Keir, The Tug McGraw Research Center, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, 3624 DUMC, Durham, NC 27710, USA
Publication History

Issue published online: 16 JUN 2008
Article first published online: 31 OCT 2007
Manuscript Accepted: 4 AUG 2007
Manuscript Received: 30 JUL 2007

 Keywords

brain cancer;
brain tumor;
distress;
stress;
quality of life

Abstract
Goals of work: Patients with brain cancer are at a risk of experiencing elevated levels of distress due to the severe functional, neurocognitive, and neuropsychological sequelae of the disease. Using the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's Distress Thermometer, we evaluated the extent and sources of distress within a population of patients with brain cancer.

Patients and methods: Participants were asked to complete the Distress Thermometer, a single-item rapid screening tool for distress. The Distress Thermometer is a visual analog scale on which participants rate their level of distress from ‘0’ (none) to ‘10’ (extreme). Participants were also asked to designate which items from a 34-item list constitute sources of distress.

Main results: Fifty-two percent of participants met the ⩾4 cut-off score for distress. The scores were positively correlated with patient-reported emotional sources of distress (r=0.444, p<0.001), physical sources of stress [...]

Acceptability of the Distress Thermometer and Problem List

Acceptability of the Distress Thermometer and Problem List to community-based telephone cancer helpline operators, and to cancer patients and carers
Abstract
Background: Cancer can be a distressing experience for cancer patients and carers, impacting on psychological, social, physical and spiritual functioning. However, health professionals often fail to detect distress in their patients due to time constraints and a lack of experience. Also, with the focus on the patient, carer needs are often overlooked. This study investigated the acceptability of brief distress screening with the Distress Thermometer (DT) and Problem List (PL) to operators of a community-based telephone helpline, as well as to cancer patients and carers calling the service.

Methods: Operators (n = 18) monitored usage of the DT and PL with callers (cancer patients/carers, >18 years, and English-speaking) from September-December 2006 (n = 666). The DT is a single item, 11-point scale to rate level of distress. The associated PL identifies the cause of distress.

Results: The DT and PL were used on 90% of eligible callers, most providing valid responses. Benefits included having an objective, structured and consistent means for distress screening and triage to supportive care services. Reported challenges included apparent inappropriateness of the tools due to the nature of the call or level of caller distress, the DT numeric scale, and the level of operator training.

Conclusions: We observed positive outcomes to using the DT and PL, although operators reported some challenges. Overcoming these challenges may improve distress screening particularly by less experienced clinicians, and further development of the PL items and DT scale may assist with administration. The DT and PL allow clinicians to direct/prioritise interventions or referrals, although ongoing training and support is critical in distress screening.

  [Download Acceptability of the Distress Thermometer...]

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    Implementation of NCCN Distress Management Guidelines by Member Institutions

Implementation of NCCN Distress Management Guidelines by Member Institutions

Implementation of NCCN Distress Management Guidelines by Member Institutions
Abstract
Up to half of all adults with cancer experience clinically significant psychological distress and much of this distress goes unrecognized and untreated. As part of an effort to improve the care of cancer patients, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has developed clinical practice guidelines for distress management that include recommendations about the evaluation and treatment of distress. These authors conducted a study to evaluate the implementation of these distress management guidelines by NCCN member institutions. The NCCN member institutions that treat adults were asked in April and May 2005 to describe their distress management practices, and 15 (83%) provided responses. Of these, 8 (53%) conduct routine distress screening for at least some patient groups, with 4 additional institutions (27%) pilot-testing screening strategies. However, only 20% of surveyed member institutions screened all patients as the guidelines recommend. In addition, whether institutions that conduct routine distress screening do so through standardized assessment methods is unclear, because 37.5% of institutions that conduct screening rely only on interviews to identify distressed patients. Findings suggest that most institutions consider screening patients’ mental health concerns important and worthwhile, but that greater implementation of guideline recommendations is needed.

  [Download Implementation of NCCN Distress Management Guidelines by Member Institutions]

December 2013

FSOSW Launches New Website

We are excited to announce that Florida Society of Oncology Social Workers (FSOSW) has launched its new membership site this January.

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    Distress Assessment: Practice Change Through Guideline Implementation

Distress Assessment: Practice Change Through Guideline Implementation

Distress Assessment: Practice Change Through Guideline Implementation
Most nurses agree that incorporating evidence into practice is necessary to provide quality care, but barriers such as time, resources, and knowledge often interfere with the actual implementation of practice change. Published practice guidelines are one source to direct practice; this article focuses on the use of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Oncology: Distress Management, which articulate standards and demonstrate assessment for psychosocial distress. Planning for the implementation of the guidelines in a feasibility pilot in a busy radiation oncology clinic is described. Results indicate that adding a distress assessment using the distress thermometer and problem checklist did not present substantial burden to nurses in the clinic or overwhelm the mental health, pastoral care, or oncology social work referral sources with more patients. Understanding distress scores and problems identified by patients helped the nurses direct education interventions and referrals appropriately; improved patient satisfaction scores reflected this.

  [Download Distress Assessment: Practice Change Through Guideline Implementation]

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