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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Brandi Pravecek

Second Advisor

Sarah Mollman


Introduction: Untreated psychological distress can have harmful consequences for patients receiving cancer treatment. Assessing and identifying psychological distress in oncology patients is an essential component of providing quality cancer care. Screening for distress allows healthcare providers to implement treatment interventions to reduce patients’ distress while improving overall healthcare outcomes.
Methods: The utilization of a standardized screening tool assists healthcare providers in implementing patient-specific interventions to manage oncological distress. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Distress Thermometer is a well-validated tool used to pinpoint specific patient needs and identify appropriate support services.
Gaps: A lack of clear evidence surrounding the most appropriate time to screen for psychological distress is available. There is limited generalizability among the evidence as the diversity of samples is lacking in the literature.
Recommendations for Practice: Implementation of routine distress screening may significantly improve the quality of cancer care. Screening tools and associated interventions can be utilized by healthcare providers to guide appropriate referrals. Oncology providers and nurses play a crucial role in oncology distress management.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cancer -- Patients -- Psychology.
Cancer -- Psychological aspects.
Distress (Psychology)
Psychological tests.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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