From distress guidelines to developing models of psychosocial care: current best practices

J Psychosoc Oncol. 2012;30(6):694-714. doi: 10.1080/07347332.2012.721488.


Psychological distress has been recognized as having a significant effect upon cognitive and emotional functioning, quality of life, and in some populations increased costs of care. Screening for distress and provision of psychosocial care in oncology treatment settings has been identified as a future accreditation standard by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). Because there are few available models of programs of distress screening and referral to inform oncology social workers and other members of the psychosocial support team with planning their own programs, this article seeks to provide exemplars of best practices that are currently in place in four different settings where psychosocial support is provided to people living with cancer and their families. Each program will provide an overview of how it was successfully established and its contribution toward evolving evidence-informed best practices.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Models, Organizational
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support*
  • Social Work / organization & administration*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*