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Disparities in Distress Screening among Lung and Ovarian Cancer Survivors

Within the cancer treatment community, interest in the psychosocial impacts of cancer diagnosis and treatment is increasing.

Study Type/Phase: Observational

These psychosocial impacts are wide ranging and include not only anxiety related to the illness and treatment side effects such as pain, fatigue, and cognition, but also stress related to nonmedical issues such as family relationships, financial hardship, social stressors (e.g. transportation), and stigmatization. There is growing evidence that addressing the psychosocial stresses of cancer survivors increases both their longevity and quality of life. In 2015 the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer (CoC) mandated Psychosocial Distress Screening for all cancer patients. Now that several years have passed since the CoC mandate, it is important for the CDC to evaluate whether cancer survivors are receiving the mandated distress screening and whether or not healthcare facilities are providing adequate support for those patients who show signs of distress.

El Camino Health is one of the healthcare facilities taking part in a research project that seeks to understand the facilitators and barriers to the process of incorporating distress screening and follow-up treatment in the care of ovarian and lung cancer survivors. Results will assist the CDC’s National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) with the development of information, resources, and technical assistance to support screening and intervention efforts in healthcare systems, and to evaluate the need for changes to enhance the quality of life services for cancer survivors. The project aims to evaluate ovarian and lung cancer survivors receiving psychosocial distress screening to determine whether adequate support is given and to identify any disparities in receipt of mandated care. ECH staff involved in the administration of distress screening will also have the option to participate in an interview about the decisions related to the implementation of the distress screening policies.


Principal Investigator

Shyamali Singhal, MD, PhD


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Kathy Miller, Clinical Research Coordinator
Taft Center for Clinical Research


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