Recommendations for the implementation of distress screening programs in cancer centers: report from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS), Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW), and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) joint task force

Cancer. 2014 Oct 1;120(19):2946-54. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28750. Epub 2014 May 2.


In 2015, the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) Commission on Cancer will require cancer centers to implement screening programs for psychosocial distress as a new criterion for accreditation. A joint task force from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, the Association of Oncology Social Work, and the Oncology Nursing Society developed consensus-based recommendations to guide the implementation of this requirement. In this review, the authors provide recommendations regarding each of the 6 components necessary to meet the ACoS standard: 1) inclusion of psychosocial representation on the cancer committee, 2) timing of screening, 3) method/mode of screening, 4) tools for screening, 5) assessment and referral, and 6) documentation.

Keywords: cancer; distress screening; implementation; neoplasms; programs; psychosocial; psychosocial aspects; recommendations; screening; standards.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening* / methods
  • Mass Screening* / organization & administration
  • Mass Screening* / standards
  • Mass Screening* / trends
  • Medical Records / standards
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Program Development
  • Psychometrics
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Somatoform Disorders / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology