Oral Presentation COSA-IPOS Joint Scientific Meeting 2012

Effects of psychosocial screening on cancer patients’ reported quality of life and satisfaction with care (#183)

Josette JEHM Hoekstra-Weebers 1 2 , James JC Coyne 2 3 , Harry HBM van de Wiel 2
  1. Comprehensive Cancer Center Netherlands, Groningen, the Netherlands
  2. Wenckebach Institute, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
  3. Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Aims: We examined effects of a psychosocial screening procedure on patients’ distress, quality of life (QoL) and satisfaction with care versus no screening procedure.

Methods: A sequential cohort design was used. Cohort1 consisted of all cancer patients consecutively visiting out-patient clinics in 6 hospitals in North-East Netherlands during a 2-4 weeks period. Participants completed the Distress Thermometer (DT) and Dutch Problem List (PL), EORTC measuring 6 QoL domains and the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire assessing four satisfaction with care domains. No feedback was given to patients/clinicians. Approximately 1-2 years later a psychosocial screening procedure was implemented in which DT/PL’s were completed by patients, results were discussed with nurses and referrals were offered if indicated. Consequently, Cohort2 was approached as cohort1, and completed the same questionnaires. X2 and t-tests compared the two groups.

Results: Of 680 cancer patients approached for Cohort1, 359 (53%) participated, as did 302/550 (55%) approached for Cohort2. No significant between-group differences were found for age, marital status, education, treatment phase, or treatment type. More women participated in Cohort2 (87%) than in Cohort1 (80%) (X2=6.07, p<.05) and more patients having breast cancer (Cohort1=67%, Cohort2=79%, X2 =8.69,p<.01). Cohort2 respondents reported experiencing significantly fewer problems in the physical (t=2.04, p<.05), practical (t=2.20, p<.05), emotional (t=2.59, p<.01) and spiritual PL domains (t=1.98, p=.05), and more satisfaction with accessibility/waiting times in the hospital (t=2.10, p<.05) than Cohort1 respondents did. No significant differences were found in DT scores; in EORTC physical, role, emotional, social, and cognitive functioning and overall QoL; or in medical specialists’ technical qualities, interpersonal behavior, and general satisfaction with care received.

Conclusion: Psychosocial screening of cancer patients with discussion of results appears associated with reduced severity of problems, marginally with satisfaction with care, but not with reported DT scores or QoL.