Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Prevalence, risk factors, and the desire for help of distressed newly diagnosed cancer patients: A large-sample study*

  • Ging-Long Wang (a1) (a2), Chih-Tao Cheng (a1) (a3), An-Chen Feng (a4), Sheng-Hui Hsu (a1), Yi-Chen Hou (a1) and Chiu-Yuan Chiu (a5)...

Abstract

Objective:

Beginning in 2007, all newly diagnosed cancer patients at the Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center (KF–SYSCC) were screened for psychosocial distress. Our social workers, as part of the psychosocial care team (PCT), have engaged in proactive outreach with patients identified as distressed. The goal of the present study was to assess the prevalence of psychosocial distress and the extent of contact between the PCT and distressed patients.

Method:

Newly diagnosed patients who were treated at KF–SYSCC between 2007 and 2010 for cancer were eligible if there were at least 100 patients with the same type of cancer. Before treatment began, they were screened with the Pain Scale and the Distress Thermometer (DT) and had the option to specify a desire for help. The rates of distress were analyzed by cancer type and by probable related factors. Information regarding contact with the PCT was retrieved from computerized databases.

Results:

Overall, some 5,335 cancer patients representing 12 major cancer types were included in our study. Of these, 1,771 (33.20%) were significantly distressed. By multivariate logistic regression, younger age, female gender, higher pain score, and disease stage, but not cancer type, were found to be associated with higher rates of distress. Among these distressed patients, 628 (36%) had some contact with the PCT.

Significance of results:

This Taiwanese study with a large sample size revealed a prevalence rate of psychosocial distress similar to rates found in Western countries. Contact with the PCT was established in only 36% of significantly distressed patients, despite a proactive outreach program. It is very important to have screening results made available in a timely fashion to the psycho-oncology team so that appropriate care can be offered promptly.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Prevalence, risk factors, and the desire for help of distressed newly diagnosed cancer patients: A large-sample study*
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Prevalence, risk factors, and the desire for help of distressed newly diagnosed cancer patients: A large-sample study*
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Prevalence, risk factors, and the desire for help of distressed newly diagnosed cancer patients: A large-sample study*
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Ging-Long Wang, Department of Psychiatry, Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center, 125 Lih-Der Road, Bei-Tou District, Taipei, Taiwan 11259. E-mail: glw@kfsyscc.org.

Footnotes

Hide All
*

Parts of this paper were presented as posters at the 2012 IPOS Meeting in Brisbane, Australia.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Akechi, T., Okuyama, T., Sugawara, Y., et al. (2004). Major depression, adjustment disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder in terminally ill cancer patients: Associated and predictive factors. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 22(10), 19571965.
Akizuki, N., Yamawaki, S., Akechi, T., et al. (2005). Development of an Impact Thermometer for use in combination with the Distress Thermometer as a brief screening tool for adjustment disorders and/or major depression in cancer patients. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 29, 9199. Available from http://www.jpsmjournal.com/article/S0885-3924(04)00450-6/abstract.
Baker-Glenn, E.A., Park, B., Granger, L., et al. (2011). Desire for psychological support in cancer patients with depression or distress: Validation of a simple help question. Psycho-Oncology, 20, 525531. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.v20.5/issuetoc.
Bauwens, S., Baillon, C. & Distelmans, W. (2014). Systematic screening for distress in oncology practice using the Distress Barometer: The impact on referrals to psychosocial care. Psycho-Oncology, 23(7), 804811. Epub ahead of print Jan 24. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.3484/full.
Bultz, B. & Carlson, L.E. (2006). Emotional distress: The sixth vital sign—future directions in cancer care. Psycho-Oncology, 15, 9395. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1022/pdf.
Carlson, L.E., Angen, M., Cullum, J., et al. (2004). High levels of untreated distress and fatigue in cancer patients. British Journal of Cancer, 90(12), 22972304.
Carlson, L.E., Waller, A. & Mitchell, A.J. (2012). Screening for distress and unmet needs in patients with cancer: Review and recommendations. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 30(11), 11601177. Epub ahead of print Mar 12. Available from http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/early/2012/03/06/JCO.2011.39.5509.full.pdf.
Carlson, L.E., Waller, A., Groff, S.L., et al. (2013). Screening for distress, the sixth vital sign, in lung cancer patients: Effects on pain, fatigue, and common problems. Secondary outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, 22(8), 18801888. Epub ahead of print Nov 12, 2012. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/pon.3223/full.
Chambers, S., Zajdlewicz, L., Youlden, D.R., et al. (2014). The validity of the Distress Thermometer in prostate cancer populations. Psycho-Oncology, 23(2), 195203. Epub ahead of print Sep 12, 2013. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.3391/pdf.
Chen, M.L., Chang, H.K. & Yeh, C.H. (2000). Anxiety and depression in Taiwanese cancer patients with and without pain. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32(4), 944951. Available from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12233140_Anxiety_and_depression_in_Taiwanese_cancer_patient_with_and_without_pain.
Clover, K., Kelly, P., Rogers, K., et al. (2013). Predictors of desire for help in oncology outpatients reporting pain or distress. Psycho-Oncology, 22(7), 16111617. Epub Sep 27, 2012. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/pon.3188/full.
Clover, K., Mitchell, A.J., Britton, B., et al. (2015). Why do oncology outpatients who report emotional distress decline help? Psycho-Oncology, 24(7), 812818. Epub ahead of print Dec 11, 2014. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.v24.7/issuetoc.
Derogatis, L.R., Morrow, G.R., Fetting, J., et al. (1983). The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among cancer patients. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 249(6), 751757. Available from http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=383328/
Deshields, T., Zebrack, B. & Kennedy, V. (2013). The state of psychosocial services in cancer care in the United States. Psycho-Oncology, 22(3), 699703. Epub ahead of print Feb 21, 2012. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.3057/full.
Dolbeault, S., Boistard, B., Meuric, J., et al. (2011). Screening for distress and supportive care needs during the initial phase of the care process: A qualitative description of a clinical pilot experiment in a French cancer center. Psycho-Oncology, 20(6), 585593. Epub ahead of print Mar 22. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1946/full.
Dubruille, S., Libert, Y., Merckaert, I., et al. (2015). The prevalence and implications of elderly inpatients' desire for formal psychological help at the start of cancer treatment. Psycho-Oncology, 24(3), 294301. Epub ahead of print Jul 31, 2014. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.v24.3/issuetoc.
Farber, J.M., Weinerman, B.H. & Kuypers, J.A. (1984). Psychosocial distress of oncology patients. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 2, 109118. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1085/pdf.
Forsetlund, L., Bjorndal, A., Richidian, A., et al. (2009). Continuing education meetings and workshops: Effects on professional practice and health care outcomes. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2, CD003030. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003030.pub2/abstract.
Gerbershagen, H.J., Rothaug, J., Kalkman, C.J., et al. , (2011). Determination of moderate-to-severe postoperative pain on the numeric rating scale: A cut-off point analysis applying four different methods. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 107(4), 619626. Epub ahead of print Jun 30. Available from http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/107/4/619.full.pdf+html.
Grassi, L., Rossi, L., Caruso, R., et al. (2011). Educational intervention in cancer outpatient clinics on routine screening for emotional distress: An observational study. Psycho-Oncology, 20(6), 669674. Epub ahead of print Mar 2. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1944/pdf.
Grassi, L., Johansen, C., Annunziata, M.A., et al. (2013). Screening for distress in cancer patients: A multicenter, nationwide study in Italy. Cancer, 119(9), 17141721. Epub ahead of print Feb 19. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.27902/pdf.
Graves, K.D., Arnold, S.M., Love, C.L., et al. (2007). Distress screening in a multidisciplinary lung cancer clinic: Prevalence and predictors of clinically significant distress. Lung Cancer, 55, 215224. Epub ahead of print Nov 3, 2006.
Gunnarsdottir, S., Thorvaldsdottir, G.H., Fridriksdottir, N., et al. (2012). The psychometric properties of the Icelandic version of the Distress Thermometer and Problem List. Psycho-Oncology (7), 21, 730736. Epub ahead of print Mar 29, 2011. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/pon.1950/full.
Holland, J.C. & Bultz, B.D. (2011). The NCCN guideline for distress management: A case for making distress the sixth vital sign. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 5(1), 37. Available from http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/17323529/The-NCCN-guideline-for-distress-management-a-case-for-making-distress-the-sixth-vital-sign.
Institute of Medicine (2008). Cancer care for the whole person: Meeting psychosocial health needs. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.
Ito, T., Shimizu, K., Ichida, Y., et al. (2011). Usefulness of pharmacist-assisted screening and psychiatric referral program for outpatients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Psycho-Oncology, 20(6), 647654. Epub ahead of print Mar 7. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.v20.6/issuetoc.
Jacobson, P.B., Donovan, K.A., Trask, P.C., et al. (2005). Screening for psychologic distress in ambulatory cancer patients: A multicenter evaluation of the Distress Thermometer. Cancer, 103(7), 14941502. Available from http://www.capo.ca/pdf/Jacobsen_et_al_2005.pdf.
Kendall, J., Glaze, K., Oakland, S., et al. (2011). What do 1281 distress screeners tell us about cancer patients in a community cancer center? Psycho-Oncology, 20(6), 594600. Epub ahead of print Feb 8. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1907/pdf.
Khatib, J., Salhi, R. & Awad, G. (2004). Distress in cancer in-patients in King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC): A study using the Arabic-modified version of the Distress Thermometer. Psycho-Oncology, 13(Suppl. 1), S42S48.
Kissane, D.W., Grabsch, B., Clarke, D.M., et al. (2007). Supportive-expressive group therapy for patients with primary breast cancer: Survival and psychosocial outcomes from a randomized controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, 16(4), 277286. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1185/pdf.
Lam, W.W.T., Chan, M., Hung, W.K., et al. (2007). Treatment decision difficulties and post-operative distress predict persistence of psychological morbidity in Chinese women following breast cancer surgery. Psycho-Oncology, 16(10), 904912. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1147/pdf.
Li, J., Yuan, X.L., Gao, X.H., et al. (2012). Whether, when, and who to disclose bad news to patients with cancer: A survey in 150 pairs of hospitalized patients with cancer and family members in China. Psycho-Oncology, 21(7), 778784. Epub ahead of print Apr 20, 2011. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/pon.1979/full.
Moorey, S. (2013). “I know they are distressed. What do I do now?Psycho-Oncology, 22(9), 19461952. Epub ahead of print Jul 1. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.3297/full.
Moorey, S. & Greer, S. (2012). The Oxford guide to CBT for people with cancer. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) (2003). NCCN practice guidelines in oncology, Vol. 1: Distress management. Fort Washington, PA: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Available from https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp.
O'Brien, M.A., Rogers, S. & Jamtvedt, G. (2007). Educational outreach visits: Effects on professional and health care outcomes. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4, CD000409. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000409.pub2/full.
Ozalp, E., Cankurtaran, E.S., Soygur, H., et al. (2007). Screening for psychological distress in Turkish cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology, 16(4), 304311. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1059/pdf.
Ryan, D.A., Gallagher, P., Ryan, S.W., et al. (2012). Sensitivity and specificity of the Distress Thermometer and a two-item depression screen (Patient Health Questionnaire–2) with a “help” question for psychological distress and psychiatric morbidity in patients with advanced cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 21(12), 12751284. Epub ahead of print Sep 15, 2011. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/pon.2042/full.
Sharp, L., Carsin, A.E. & Timmons, A. (2013). Associations between cancer-related financial stress and strain and psychological well-being among individuals living with cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 22(4), 745755. Epub ahead of print Mar 12, 2012. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/pon.3055/full.
Shim, E.J., Shin, Y.W., Jeon, H.J., et al. (2008). Distress and its correlates in Korean cancer patients: Pilot use of the Distress Thermometer and the Problem List. Psycho-Oncology, 17(6), 548555. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1275/pdf.
Shimizu, K., Akechi, T. & Okamura, M. (2005). Usefulness of the nurse-assisted screening and psychiatric referral program. Cancer, 103(9), 19491956. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.20992/full.
Shimizu, K., Ishibashi, Y., Umezawa, S., et al. (2010). Feasibility and usefulness of the distress screening program in ambulatory care in clinical oncology practice. Psycho-Oncology, 19(7), 718725. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1616/pdf.
Söllner, W., Maislinger, S., König, A., et al. (2004). Providing psychosocial support for breast cancer patients based on screening for distress within a consultation–liaison service. Psycho-Oncology, 13(12), 893897. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.867/pdf.
Stefanek, M.E., Derogatis, L.R. & Shaw, A. (1987). Psychosocial distress among oncology outpatients. Psychosomatics, 28, 530539.
Tanaka, K., Akechi, T., Okuyama, T., et al. (2002). Impact of dyspnea, pain, and fatigue on daily life activities in ambulatory patients with advanced lung cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 23(5), 417423.
Tang, S.T. & Lee, S.Y. (2004). Cancer diagnosis and prognosis in Taiwan: Patient preferences versus experiences. Psycho-Oncology, 13(1), 113.
Tuinman, M.A., Gazendam-Donofrio, S.M. & Hoekstra-Weebers, J.E. (2008). Screening and referral for psychosocial distress in oncologic practice: Use of the Distress Thermometer. Cancer, 113(4), 870878. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.23622/full.
Uchitomi, Y., Mikami, I., Nagai, K., et al. (2003). Depression and psychological distress in patients during the year after curative resection of non-small-cell lung cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 21(1), 6977.
Wang, G.L., Yang, S.J., Chiu, C.Y., et al. (2009). Self-selection for psychosocial intervention by patients at a cancer center screened by Distress Thermometer as the “6th vital sign.” Psycho-Oncology, 18(Suppl. 2), S239.
Wang, G.L., Hsu, S.H., Feng, A.C., et al. (2011). The HADS and the DT for screening psychosocial distress of cancer patients in Taiwan. Psycho-Oncology, 20(6), 639646. Epub ahead of print Mar 15. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1952/full.
Wang, Y., Zou, L., Jiang, M., et al. (2013). Measurement of distress in Chinese inpatients with lymphoma. Psycho-Oncology, 22(7), 15811586. Epub ahead of print Aug 31, 2012. Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/pon.3170/full.
Watson, M. & Kissane, D.W. (2011). Handbook of psychotherapy in cancer care. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
Zabora, J., Brintzenhofe-Szoc, K., Curbow, B., et al. (2001). The prevalence of psychological distress by cancer site. Psycho-Oncology, 10(1), 1928.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed