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Cancer Pract. 1994 Jul-Aug;2(4):288-96.

Development of a self-administered psychosocial cancer screening tool.


Among patients with cancer, psychosocial issues and problems are common, yet they often go unnoticed and thus untreated until they become severe and significantly interfere with the patient's comfort, quality of life, and potentially survival. Given the increasing complexity of cancer care, psychosocial support must assume a more prominent role in the care of individuals with cancer. Routine use of a screening tool for psychosocial assessment may help facilitate early identification and intervention for individuals who are at risk for psychosocial problems. Based on the prevalence of psychosocial problems described in the literature and the paucity of psychosocial screening instruments that can be applied practically in the clinical setting, the development of a new instrument to identify patients with cancer who have psychosocial problems in multiple domains and who thus are at risk for excessive psychosocial distress throughout the course of treatment is presented. This article provides background information, reviews the literature, including instruments that have been used to screen patients in the oncology setting for psychosocial problems, and presents a new instrument based on current deficiencies in this area. Pilot testing of the instrument demonstrates its feasibility for use in the clinical setting.

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