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Treating Distress Facilitates Healing

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Powerful Patient

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In 2007 the Institute of Medicine (IOM; 2007) issued a report Cancer Care for theWhole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs. This report focused on ways to increase the quality of care provided to cancer patients.  The challenge they issued was to devise methods to screen patients to determine their level of distress and to provide intervention as needed.

In 2011 the Commission on Cancer issued guidelines for screening cancer patients for a new aspect of their condition: Distress.  Since the issuance of this Screening method there has been considerable discussion among oncology social workers (OSW's) of the processes of implementation of distress screening in cancer centers, screening policies and protocols, screening tool choice, and oncology social worker professional identity.

Professor Mary Ann Burg of the University of Central Florida analyzed the postings of OSW's to a professional listserv and published her results.  Joyce and Mike speak with Dr. Burg about her findings.

The article: Mary Ann Burg PhD, MSW, LCSW, Gail Adorno PhD, MSW, LCSW & Jorge Hidalgo BA (2012): An Analysis of Social Work Oncology Network Listserv Postings on the Commission of Cancer's Distress Screening Guidelines, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 30:6, 636-651
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07347332.2012.721484