Cancer Inpatient Distress in First 48 Hours of Admission: Comparison of Distress Scores to Perceived Health Status
Creators:von der Embse, Margaret
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2014
Distress related to cancer diagnoses and treatment is prevalent in oncology patients. Distress screening is not a common practice in oncology inpatient settings, although standards from the American College of Surgeon will require documented evidence of distress screening, assessment, intervention, and evaluation by 2015 for certification. Professionals are seeking the ideal distress instrument for use in their settings. In this study, a cross sectional design compared the level of distress and perceived health status from cancer inpatients (N=150) sampled in the first 48 hours of admission at a university-based, National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer. This study utilized the distress thermometer and its 38-item problem list to identify the level and source of distress in oncology inpatients with a variety of cancer diagnoses. Distress was elevated (M=5.8, SD=2.7) which is described as moderate to high distress. Six of seven subscales of the distress thermometer problem list indicated significant results (p<0.03) with the exception of the practical subscale (p=0.23). Analyses of various demographic items identified a potential association between self-reported level of distress and perceived health status e.g. poor (n=46), fair (n=54), good (n=42), or excellent (n=3), which was significant (p<0.03) in five of seven measures of distress associated with the problem list. In a busy inpatient setting during admission procedures, the self reported level of distress and perceived health status may provide an approximation of the patient’s distress and lead to expanded assessment and appropriate referrals as necessary. This approach may provide improved distress screening with minimum interference in admission procedures.
Academic Major: Nursing