NCCN was among the first voices calling for routine screening of distress in patients with cancer. The first NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Distress Management were published in 1999.1 Since then, a number of other organizations have advocated for screening, including the Institute of Medicine,2 ASCO,3 and, in a joint statement, the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, Association of Oncology Social Work, and Oncology Nursing Society.4 The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer’s (ACS CoC) mandate for implementing a systematic protocol for distress screening and referral made screening a requirement for cancer center accreditation.5 The mandate took effect in 2015, spurring the development of processes for distress screening and referral to psychosocial care in most US cancer centers.
To determine the extent to which NCCN Member Institutions (MIs) were implementing key aspects of the NCCN Guidelines for Distress Management, Jacobsen and Ransom6 surveyed panel members in 2005. Their findings, published in 2007, suggested a general acceptance of routine screening for distress as part of clinical care, with 53% of represented MIs conducting routine screening. In 2012, an expanded survey was distributed to NCCN MIs, soliciting more details about screening procedures, use of self-report measures, and the provision of services to distressed patients. The results, published in 2013, suggested modest progress in implementation of guideline recommendations for distress screening7; 70% of respondents reported conducting routine screening, with 79% of these institutions also rescreening patients. The publication of the 2016 ACS CoC standards manual brought increased documentation requirements and clarified screening and referral processes.8 Plans to monitor compliance with these standards as part of the accreditation process seem likely to have motivated more MIs to develop formal distress screening programs. Thus, we sought to examine whether further progress has been made in implementation of the NCCN Guidelines for Distress Management since the previous survey in 2012.
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)| false . , Ehlers SL , Davis K , Bluethman SM Screening for psychosocial distress among patients with cancer: implications for clinical practice, healthcare policy, and dissemination to enhance cancer survivorship. 2019; 9: 282– 291. 30566662 10.1093/tbm/iby123
Jacobsen PBNorton WE. The role of implementation science in improving distress assessment and management in oncology: a commentary on “Screening for psychosocial distress among patients with cancer: implications for clinical practice, healthcare policy, and dissemination to enhance cancer survivorship. Transl Behav Med 2019;9:292–295.
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)| false . , Jacobsen PB Norton WE The role of implementation science in improving distress assessment and management in oncology: a commentary on “Screening for psychosocial distress among patients with cancer: implications for clinical practice, healthcare policy, and dissemination to enhance cancer survivorship. 2019; 9: 292– 295. 30870569