Cancer is a major life stress that for a substantial group of patients is followed by high levels of psychosocial distress. Tele-based cancer information and support services, or Helplines, overcome barriers to access such as geography, ill health, and cost and have potential for screening for psychological distress in order to increase detection of high distress and referral to more intensive interventions where indicated. In practice, screening for distress may present a range of challenges to staff at the individual level, as well as for organisations that are seeking to implement and maintain routine screening as part of clinical care. This paper describes the implementation and maintenance of distress screening over time in a cancer helpline setting, and the development of the Tiered Model of Care to assist with triage and referral to different levels of intervention. Using data obtained from the Cancer Helpline, trends in distress screening will be described with a particular focus on rates of distress screening prior to and post an operator training program. Levels of distress according to demographic factors and cancer type will also be described.
This abstract is planned as part of the symposium entitled "Translating Training into Practice: Examining the Process From Training to Implementation"