Distress Screening in Cancer: Dissemination and Implementation Research
Emerging research suggests that routine psychosocial screening may result in improvements in health outcomes and enhancements in cancer care, particularly for the most distressed and marginalized patients and families who may benefit from social work services. Yet, distress screening is not widely adopted and is fraught with challenges related to (1) implementation across various health care delivery systems, (2) selection of appropriate instruments to assess patient-reported outcomes, and (3) system capacity to respond to identified patient/family needs. Little is known about the effectiveness of “best practices” or about replicability in oncology care settings.
Via lecture, question and answer, and small group discussion formats, this workshop will (1) elicit issues related to the dissemination of evidence to support the implementation of distress screening, and (2) facilitate discussion on future research opportunities and needs related to distress screening implementation (implementation research).
Objective 1: Introduce the context for distress screening in cancer care. Presenters will provide an overview of the historical, social, and economic forces influencing the dissemination and implementation of distress screening.
Objective 2: Identify challenges to dissemination and implementation of distress screening. Presenters will offer empirical evidence documenting barriers, challenges, and successes reported by oncology social workers in their efforts to implement distress screening. In small group discussions, workshop participants will share their knowledge, experiences, and observations about social worker efforts to implement distress screening, best practice models, and evidence suggesting their potential efficacy.
Objective 3: Examine issues related to distress screening instrument selection. Presenters will facilitate a discussion on the psychometric components and cultural equivalence of existing screening instruments, and implications for instrument selection.
Objective 4: Discuss opportunities for dissemination and implementation research. Presenters will elaborate opportunities for future investigations of distress screening efficacy and implementation. Topics for group discussion will include opportunities for investigators to develop consensus on distress measures as part of the NCI-sponsored Grid-Enabled Measures Distress Screening Initiative (GEM-DS), and screening for distress and psychosocial care needs at end of treatment in conjunction with survivorship care planning.