Screening tool does not cut distress in cancer patients

September 7, 2013
Screening tool does not cut distress in cancer patients
Distress monitoring and needs assessment using the Distress Thermometer and Problem List does not appear to be cost-effective in improving mood states in cancer patients, according to research published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

(HealthDay)—Distress monitoring and needs assessment using the Distress Thermometer and Problem List (DT&PL) does not appear to be cost-effective in improving mood states in cancer patients, according to research published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

William Hollingworth, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned 220 patients starting radiotherapy or chemotherapy to an intervention group (112 patients) or a control group (108 patients). The effect of a 25-minute intervention with the DT&PL on patient outcomes and health care costs was assessed.

The researchers found that, among the patients receiving the intervention, one-third reported high levels of distress; most patients reported physical (84 percent) or emotional (56 percent) problems. No evidence of an effect of the DT&PL was observed for psychological distress, quality of life, or health care costs. Fewer than 3 percent of patients in either group were referred to a clinical psychologist.

"Needs can be identified using short, simple, and inexpensive screening tools," writes the author of an accompanying editorial. "However, results need to be followed-up with further assessment of specific needs and appropriate referral and treatment."

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial

Related Stories

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy beneficial in diabetes

December 11, 2012

(HealthDay)—For patients with diabetes and low levels of emotional well-being, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) improves emotional distress and health-related quality of life, according to a study published online ...

Barrier assessment improves care for elderly with diabetes

March 19, 2013

(HealthDay)—For older adults with diabetes, an active intervention involving assessment of barriers to self-care and development of strategies to cope with these barriers is superior to usual care, according to research ...

ASCO: Cancer patients want to talk about costs with docs

May 31, 2013

(HealthDay)—Although financial distress is common, even in insured patients, discussion of costs of cancer care with doctors rarely happens, according to research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society ...

Dexamethasone beats placebo for cancer-related fatigue

August 1, 2013

(HealthDay)—For patients with advanced cancer, dexamethasone is better than placebo for reducing cancer-related fatigue (CRF), according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Recommended for you

Study reveals new insight into DNA repair

August 3, 2015

DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the worst possible form of genetic malfunction that can cause cancer and resistance to therapy. New information published this week reveals more about why this occurs and how these breaks ...

Strange circular DNA may offer new way to detect cancers

July 30, 2015

Strange rings of DNA that exist outside chromosomes are distinct to the cell types that mistakenly produced them, researchers have discovered. The finding raises the tantalizing possibility that the rings could be used as ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.