Feasibility and Acceptability of Distress Screening for Family Caregivers at a Cancer Surgery Center

Oncol Nurs Forum. 2019 Mar 1;46(2):159-169. doi: 10.1188/19.ONF.159-169.


Objectives: To determine the feasibility and acceptability of a validated electronic distress screening program for cancer caregivers.

Sample & setting: 17 informal caregivers presenting with a patient with cancer to an ambulatory cancer surgery center.

Methods & variables: Caregivers completed the CancerSupportSource®-Caregiver screening and a brief semistructured interview concerning the screening.

Results: Caregivers described the screening as straightforward and comprehensive. They endorsed concerns about their self-care needs but were most likely to request information or a referral for patient-focused concerns. Referrals generated from the program are likely viably addressed with existing supportive care resources.

Implications for nursing: Brief, caregiver-focused distress screening is perceived positively by caregivers. Caregivers indicated that they felt it validated the importance of their role and highlighted the hospital's efforts to continually improve care. This screening program may be particularly beneficial in ambulatory surgical centers to efficiently identify caregivers with concerns and provide a point of entry to remediate these concerns.

Keywords: caregivers; distress screening; feasibility study; supportive care; unmet needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires