QIM21-084: Perceived Needs and Patient Satisfaction of Psychosocial Distress Screening and Management in Inpatient Hematology Oncology Specialty Care

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  • 1 O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
  • | 2 University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Psychosocial distress screening and management represents a key driver to comprehensive cancer care. A growing body of research has demonstrated benefits of assessing and managing psychosocial distress in outpatient settings; however, research in inpatient care settings remains scarce. This quality improvement project aims to assess perceived needs and satisfaction of an inpatient psycho-oncology program to bridge the gap. A total of 382 cancer patients age 18 and above admitted to an inpatient hematology and oncology specialty unit with a length of stay ≥ 2 nights consented to participate between November 2019 and March 2020. Baseline psychosocial characteristics were assessed during routine admission using the Distress Thermometer (DT) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2/9). Patients with positive screens (DT ≥ 4 or PHQ ≥10) were referred to the Psycho-oncology Distress Management Program for further assessment. A subgroup of patients (n=88) completed a 12-item patient satisfaction survey to evaluate receptiveness and satisfaction of the psycho-oncology services. Descriptive analyses were conducted using SPSS 26.0. Results showed that 24% of inpatient cancer patients screened positive for distress and/or depression that warrants follow-up assessment and intervention. 92% of the participants reported perceived needs of inpatient counseling; 97% reported that they would recommend counseling to friends and families. The majority of participants received counseling reported that they had a chance to talk about feelings related to cancer diagnosis (83%), coping with cancer diagnosis and treatment (82%), how illness affects family or loved ones (71%), and available counseling services for patients and families (87%). More than half of the participants (61%) received bedside psycho-oncological counseling. High patient satisfaction (4.6/5, 1=very dissatisfied, 5=very satisfied) was reported on perceived counseling support, communicate better with family or loved ones, and improved strategies to manage anxiety or depression. Barriers to receive counseling services include physical symptom burden such as pain and fatigue, medical procedures, and inadequate psychosocial care staffing. Findings revealed high perceived needs and patient satisfaction of inpatient distress screening and management. Future research is needed to assess effectiveness of psychosocial symptom reduction and to address barriers to psycho-oncology services in inpatient cancer care.

Corresponding Author: Chao-Hui Sylvia Huang, PhD, MA, MEd
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