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Cancer. 2014 Oct 1;120(19):2946-54. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28750. Epub 2014 May 2.

Recommendations for the implementation of distress screening programs in cancer centers: report from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS), Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW), and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) joint task force.

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Center for Psychiatric Oncology and Behavioral Sciences at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


In 2015, the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) Commission on Cancer will require cancer centers to implement screening programs for psychosocial distress as a new criterion for accreditation. A joint task force from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, the Association of Oncology Social Work, and the Oncology Nursing Society developed consensus-based recommendations to guide the implementation of this requirement. In this review, the authors provide recommendations regarding each of the 6 components necessary to meet the ACoS standard: 1) inclusion of psychosocial representation on the cancer committee, 2) timing of screening, 3) method/mode of screening, 4) tools for screening, 5) assessment and referral, and 6) documentation.


cancer; distress screening; implementation; neoplasms; programs; psychosocial; psychosocial aspects; recommendations; screening; standards

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