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Gabrielle Gauvin, Leigh Selesner, Marcin Chwistek, Molly Collins, Crystal Denlinger, Mark Itzen, LCSW, Kenneth Patrick and Jeffrey Farma

Background: Malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) is a frequent presentation of advanced abdominal malignancy. Despite the frequency of MBO and the availability of NCCN Guidelines for its management, clinicians struggle to create a personalized care plan accounting for a patient’s current condition, prognosis, and goals of care. The aim of this project is to develop a discussion tool to implement on admission to ensure realistic prognostication and appropriate involvement of the patient, caregivers, and multidisciplinary team in treatment decisions. Methods: At our tertiary care center, a multidisciplinary team composed of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, palliative care specialists, hospitalists, social workers, and nutritionists developed an algorithm to implement when a patient is admitted with MBO. The algorithm was influenced by the NCCN Guidelines for palliative care but was designed as a single-page checklist that could be easily executed by all team members. Results: The MBO admission checklist is divided into 4 sections. The general assessment section includes information about the etiology, severity, and reversibility of the current and past MBO. Also, the patient’s resuscitation and functional status are reviewed. The cancer care coordination/communication section covers the patient’s oncological history and estimated lifespan, as well as the need for further coordination of care and a goals of care discussion. The subsequent portion covers the management plan, with specific decisions resulting from a goals of care discussion as well as the need for specialized consults. The medical, procedural, and operative interventions the team and patient discussed as options are also documented. A key portion is the risks and benefits discussion for each treatment modality. Lastly, the discussion about future considerations section explores the patient’s wishes for the next episode of MBO. Conclusions: The goal of this checklist is to ensure that a comprehensive discussion is held between the different services involved in a patient’s care at every admission for MBO in order to provide a personalized management plan and improve communication. The next step in our study is to assess the effectiveness of implementation of the checklist as well as its impact on patient satisfaction, quality of life, early hospice referral, and outcomes.

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Michelle B. Riba, Kristine A. Donovan, Barbara Andersen, IIana Braun, William S. Breitbart, Benjamin W. Brewer, Luke O. Buchmann, Matthew M. Clark, Molly Collins, Cheyenne Corbett, Stewart Fleishman, Sofia Garcia, Donna B. Greenberg, Rev. George F. Handzo, Laura Hoofring, Chao-Hui Huang, Robin Lally, Sara Martin, Lisa McGuffey, William Mitchell, Laura J. Morrison, Megan Pailler, Oxana Palesh, Francine Parnes, Janice P. Pazar, Laurel Ralston, Jaroslava Salman, Moreen M. Shannon-Dudley, Alan D. Valentine, Nicole R. McMillian and Susan D. Darlow

Distress is defined in the NCCN Guidelines for Distress Management as a multifactorial, unpleasant experience of a psychologic (ie, cognitive, behavioral, emotional), social, spiritual, and/or physical nature that may interfere with the ability to cope effectively with cancer, its physical symptoms, and its treatment. Early evaluation and screening for distress leads to early and timely management of psychologic distress, which in turn improves medical management. The panel for the Distress Management Guidelines recently added a new principles section including guidance on implementation of standards of psychosocial care for patients with cancer.