Screening for distress in cancer patients: is the distress thermometer a valid measure in the UK and does it measure change over time? A prospective validation study
ABSTRACT A prospective validation study was conducted in 171 consenting patients from oncology and palliative care outpatient clinics to validate the Distress Thermometer (DT) against the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) and Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) at baseline, four weeks and eight weeks. Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis was used to examine the sensitivity and specificity of the DT scores against the clinically significant cut-off scores of the criterion measures reporting 95% confidence intervals. Standardised response means were used to compare DT scores with criterion measures over time. For a cut-off of 4 vs 5, sensitivity against HADS was 79%, specificity 81%; against GHQ-12, sensitivity was 63%, specificity 83%; and against BSI-18, sensitivity was 88%, specificity 74%. At both four and eight weeks, DT scores tended to change significantly in the same direction as the criterion measures. Ninety-five percent of patients found completing the DT acceptable. The DT is valid and acceptable for use as a rapid screening instrument for patients in the UK with cancer. Our results indicate that it can be used to monitor change in psychological distress over time, but further work is needed to confirm this.
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ABSTRACT: Cancer has been known as a class of dangerous diseases which cause tremendous physical and emotional problems to both patients and their families. In spite of medical advances, cancer is still considered to be equal with death and pain. This study aims to analyze the emotional distress and the causes in breast cancer patients. This study was a quantitative study which tries to analyze the emotional distress in 82 breast cancer patients referred to the Radiotherapy and Oncology Department of Razi Hospital in Rasht, northern Iran. In this study, the emotional distress is analyzed based on a standard questionnaire which contains demographic information, distress thermometer, and a section devoted to the probable causes. Among the 82 patients that participated in this study, 32 patients (39%) suffered from severe emotional distress which had a statistically significant relationship (p<0.009) with the functional status of the patients. Taking care of children, fear, anxiety, difficulties of taking bath and wearing clothes, family problems, fever and nasal dryness are the most common issued related to emotional distress. Emotional distress can affect the quality of life of breast cancer patients. Therefore, oncology specialists should utilize mental health services to improve their patients' mental health as well as to control the consequences of the disease.01/2015; 8(1):36-41.
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ABSTRACT: To determine High Grade Glioma (HGG) patients’ levels of distress and QOL during combined chemoradiotherapy, explore predictors of distress and QOL and prioritize patients’ supportive care needs.Patient Education and Counseling 01/2015; 98(4). DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2015.01.002 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This White Paper is the culmination of work undertaken by the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Task Force on Social Work in Palliative Care, set up to examine the diversity of roles, tasks and education of palliative care social workers in Europe. We propose a competencies framework that is applicable to social workers in any role, but specifically delineates the advanced competencies appropriate to the specialist work required in palliative and end-of-life care contexts. This is part 2 of this article, part 1 was published in November 2014.European Journal of Palliative Care 01/2015; 22(1):38-44.