Professional Issues

Nursing Expertise and the Evaluation of Psychosocial Distress in Patients With Cancer and Survivors

Judith M. Estes

Clare Karten

distress screening, psychosocial distress, treatment adherence, treatment outcomes
CJON 2014, 18(5), 598-600. DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.598-600

The number of cancer survivors in the United States will continue to grow because of improved screening, early detection practices, and advances in treatment. The cancer experience has a significant impact on the patient and his or her family, which increases the risk for psychosocial distress. Untreated distress experienced by a patient with cancer contributes to poorer treatment adherence, medical outcomes, and quality of life. To provide high-quality, safe patient care, oncology nurses must increase clinical expertise and knowledge. The current article provides an overview of clinical tools available for nurses to use when screening for distress in patients throughout the cancer care continuum.

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