Distress Screening

Distress Screening


CancerSupportSourceSM (CSS) is the first comprehensive distress screening program developed for community-based hospitals, physician practices and advocacy organizations to integrate screening, referral and follow-up care, through a single, streamlined, program.

Routine screening for social and emotional distress is a key component to comprehensive quality cancer care and is a recommendation of a number of quality recommendations and guidelines including:

  • The 2013 Institute of Medicine Report, Delivering High Quality Cancer Care: Charting a Course for a System in Crisis
  • The 2012 Patient-Centered Standards from the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer
  • The 2008 Institute of Medicine Report, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs
  • The Quality Oncology Practice Initiative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology
  • The Oncology Medical Home Model of the Community Oncology Alliance

CSS helps health care teams meet critical standards easily and effectively. CSS is more than a screening tool—it enables providers to create a vital program linking patient-reported needs with in-house and community support services in a way that allows patients to receive the care they need without significant resourcing from the health care team.

Cancer Support Source


Who should use it?
CancerSupportSourceSM can be used in any cancer care setting. CSS allows health care teams to identify and assess, in a multi-dimensional way, the needs of patients. CSS integrates institutional and community programs to provide the necessary support resources improving overall quality of care, patient satisfaction and institutional efficiency.

How does it work?
In less than 10 minutes, on any computer or tablet, from any location, patients can complete a multi-item screening tool. CancerSupportSourceSM immediately provides the patient with a Personal Support Care Plan with information and referrals for support services. Providers also receive a Patient Distress Management Report of the patient’s results, including actionable clinical alerts to help staff triage a response.

Why is CSS different?
CancerSupportSourceSM enables patients to not only rate their concerns, identify what specific assistance is needed and how they would like to receive information, it also immediately links them to resources that meet those requirements. This web-based program is HIPAA compliant and the report can be linked to a facility’s EHR in order to streamline processes and maximize the staff’s time. CSS can be fully customized for any institution and is available in both English and Spanish.

Cancer Transitions

Presentations and Publications

This poster, based on research on CancerSupportSourceSM and presented at the 2013 meeting of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, demonstrates that screening, intervention and re-screening results in a significant decrease in overall distress and also the number of items about which a patient rated as “seriously” or “very seriously” concerned in a matter of 30 days.

Recent studies indicate that patients with general distress who participated in psychotherapeutic interventions experienced:

  • Decrease in depression1
  • Decrease in mood disturbance and psychiatric symptoms1
  • Improvement in coping, cognitive and emotional outcomes2
  • Improvement in quality of life2
  • Decrease billing to the health care system3

  1. Holland, J.C., Andersen, B., Brietbart, W.S., Compas, B., Dudley M.M., Fleishman, S., …Zevon, M.A. (2010). Distress Management. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 8, 448-485.
  2. Clark, P. G., Bolte, S., Buzaglo J., Golant, M., Daratosos L., Loscalzo, M. (2012). From distress guidelines to developing models of psychosocial care: Current best practices. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.
  3. Carlson, L.E., Bultz, B.D. (2004). Efficacy and medical cost offset of psychosocial interventions in cancer care: Making the case for economic analysis. Psycho-Oncology, 13, 837-849.

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