References for “Where’s the evidence that screening for distress benefits cancer patients?”

distressThanks for all the enthusiasm  about my recent blog post commenting on an embedded slide presentation. These materials came from my side of a debate with UK psychiatrist Alex Mitchell at the International Psycho Oncology Conference, Rotterdam, November 7, 2013. And of course, thanks to all who reacted so positively at the conference itself.

Promoting screening for distress is the strategy of some professional groups for introducing  psychosocial services into cancer care and increasing the employment of their membership. While I am sympathetic to the goal of increasing the availability and accessibility of services for cancer patients, it is self-defeating to do so at the expense of a commitment to evidence-based best practices.

In my debate slide presentation, I was mainly concerned with disputing whether evidence exists for routine screening improving the well-being of cancer patients.  But once we dispense with the idea that screening is an evidence-based practice, we can consider alternative use of psychosocial professionals with more positive effect on patient well-being.

The blogpost discussing the slides did not contain many citations for the points being made. As promised, I am now providing a blog post providing hyperlinks for documentation of points made in the slide presentation. You can click on them to retrieve the abstracts of the papers that are being cited or the actual papers. In some instances the hyperlinks take you to a blog post and even a free book that provide even more material.

I hope you find these materials useful and of course, share them with your colleagues and students, but please identify the source.

The quotes below come from the slides.

“Practice guidelines from professional organizations notoriously biased and not evidence-based.”

Shaneyfelt T. In guidelines we cannot trust. Arch Intern Med;172:1633-1634.

Grilli, R., Magrini, N., Penna, A., Mura, G., & Liberati, A. (2000). Practice guidelines developed by specialty societies: the need for a critical appraisal. The Lancet, 355(9198), 103-106. [PDF]

“Guidelines for distress screening deficient in…” Specifically refers to:

Holland, J. C., & Bultz, B. D. (2007). The NCCN guideline for distress management: a case for making distress the sixth vital sign. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 5(1), 3-7.

“Standards have been developed for evaluating process by which guidelines are constructed and disseminated.”

Institute of Medicine Committee on Standards for Developing Trustworthy Clinical Practice Guidelines (2011). Clinical practice guidelines we can trust. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. [You can download a free PDF or pay US$59.95 for a paperback]

Schünemann, H. J., Fretheim, A., & Oxman, A. D. (2006). Improving the use of research evidence in guideline development: 1. Guidelines for guidelines. Health Res Policy Syst, 4(13), 1-6. [Starts a 11 article series]

Loblaw, D. A., Prestrud, A. A., Somerfield, M. R., et al. (2012). American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guidelines: Formal systematic review–based consensus methodology. J Clin Oncol, 30(25), 3136-3140.

“Serious reevaluation [of screening] with the recognition that consultations with clinicians cannot accommodate screening for all problems.”

Good Stewardship Working Group. The “top 5” lists in primary care: meeting the responsibility of professionalism. Arch Intern Med 2011;171:1385-1390.

Cassel CK, Guest JA. Choosing wisely: helping physicians and patients make smart decisions about their care. JAMA 2012;307:1801-1802.

“Current Dutch Guidelines….”

Working group guideline ‘Screening for psychosocial distress’. Guideline ‘Screening for psychosocial distress’.

“General standards for evaluating screening in medical settings.”

Wilson JM, Jungner G. (1968). Principles and practices of screening for disease. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Raffle A, Gray M. (2007). Screening: Evidence and practice. UK: Oxford University Press.

UK National Screening Committee (2000). Second report of the UK National Screening Committee. UK: UK National Screening Committee.

“Analytic framework of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)…”

Harris RP, Helfand M, Woolf SH, et al. (2001). Current methods of the US Preventive Services Task Force: a review of the process. Am J Prev Med;20:21-35.

“Our systematic review of screening for psychological distress and its effects on patient outcomes.”

Meijer, A., Roseman, M., Delisle, V. C e tal. (2013). Effects of screening for psychological distress on patient outcomes in cancer: A systematic review. J Psychosom Res. 75(1):1-17

“…only a single eligible study”

Maunsell E, Brisson J, Deschenes L, Frasure-Smith N. (1996). Randomized trial of a psychologic distress screening program after breast cancer: effects on quality of life. J Clin Oncol. 14: 2747–2755.

“Four other systematic reviews”

Carlson LE, Clifford SS, Groff SL, et al. (2009). Screening for depression in cancer care. In: Mitchell AJ, Coyne JC, editors. Screening for Depression in Clinical Practice: An Evidence-Based Guide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 265-295

Bidstrup PE, Johansen C, Mitchell AJ. (2011). Screening for cancer-related distress: Summary of evidence from tools to programmes. Acta Oncol.;50(2):194-204.

Carlson LE, Waller A, Mitchell AJ. (2012) Screening for distress and unmet needs in patients with cancer: review and recommendations. J Clin Oncol. 10;30(11): 1160-77.

Mitchell, A. J. (2013). Screening for cancer-related distress: When is implementation successful and when is it unsuccessful? Acta Oncol, 52(2), 216-224.

Provisional work suggests that screening for psychological distress holds promise and is often clinically valuable, but it is too early to conclude definitively that psychological screening itself affects the psychological well-being of cancer patients”.

Source of quote: Mitchell, A. J. (2013). Screening for cancer-related distress: When is implementation successful and when is it unsuccessful? Acta Oncol, 52(2), 216-224.

“Dodging the Basic Question?”

Carlson, L. E., Groff, S. L., Maciejewski, O., et al. (2010). Screening for distress in lung and breast cancer outpatients: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 28(33), 4884-4891.

Carlson, L. E., Waller, A., Groff, S. L., et al. (2012). Online screening for distress, the 6th vital sign, in newly diagnosed oncology outpatients: randomised controlled trial of computerised vs personalised triage. Brit J Cancer, 107(4), 617-625.

“Trajectories of distress”

Lam, W. W., Tsang, J., Yeo, W., Suen, J., Ho, W. M., Yau, T. K., … & Fielding, R. (2013). The evolution of supportive care needs trajectories in women with advanced breast cancer during the 12 months following diagnosis. Supportive Care in Cancer, 1-10.

Henselmans, I., Helgeson, V. S., Seltman, H., de Vries, J., Sanderman, R., & Ranchor, A. V. (2010). Identification and prediction of distress trajectories in the first year after a breast cancer diagnosis. Health Psychology, 29(2), 160.

Kwak, M., Zebrack, B. J., Meeske, K. A., Embry, L., Aguilar, C., Block, R., … & Cole, S. (2013). Trajectories of Psychological Distress in Adolescent and Young Adult Patients With Cancer: A 1-Year Longitudinal Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 31(17), 2160-2166.

“Unmet Needs Do Not Equal Interest in Services”

van Scheppingen, C., Schroevers, M. J., Smink, A., van der Linden, Y. M., Mul, V. E., Langendijk, J. A., … & Sanderman, R. (2011). Does screening for distress efficiently uncover meetable unmet needs in cancer patients?. Psycho‐Oncology, 20(6), 655-663.

van Scheppingen, C.,  Schroevers, M. J., Pool, G., Smink, A., Mul, V. E., Coyne, J.C., Sanderman, R Is implementing screening for distress an efficient means to recruit patients to a psychological intervention trial?  Psycho‐Oncology (in press).

Tuinman MA, Gazendam-Donofrio SM, Hoekstra-Weebers JEHM.( 2008) Screening and referral for psychosocial distress in oncologic practice. Cancer.;113:870-878

“Screening Does Not Substantially Increase Uptake of Services.”

Thorsen L, Gjerset GM, Loge JH, et al. (2011). Cancer patients’ needs for rehabilitation services. Acta Oncol;50:212-222.

Hollingworth, W., Metcalfe, C., Mancero, S., Harris, S., Campbell, R., Biddle, L., … & Brennan, J. (2013). Are needs assessments cost effective in reducing distress among patients with cancer? A randomized controlled trial using the distress thermometer and problem list. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 31(29), 3631-3638.

Braeken, A. P., Lechner, L., Eekers, D. B., Houben, R., van Gils, F. C., Ambergen, T., & Kempen, G. I. (2013). Does routine psychosocial screening improve referral to psychosocial care providers and patient–radiotherapist communication? A cluster randomized controlled trial. Patient Education and Counseling, 93(2), 289-297.

Carlson, L. E., Groff, S. L., Maciejewski, O., et al. (2010). Screening for distress in lung and breast cancer outpatients: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 28(33), 4884-4891.

“Optimal cutpoint on distress thermometer varies between cancer sites, clinical settings, and health systems, and cultures.”

Admiraal, J. M., Reyners, A. K. L., & Hoekstra‐Weebers, J. E. H. M. (2012). Do cancer and treatment type affect distress? Psycho‐Oncology, 22(8 ), 176-183.

Bidstrup, P. E., Mertz, B. G., Dalton, S. O., Deltour, I., Kroman, N., Kehlet, H., … & Johansen, C. (2012). Accuracy of the Danish version of the ‘distress thermometer’. Psycho‐Oncology, 21(4), 436-443.

Muzzatti, B Annunziata MA (2012). Psychological distress screening in cancer patients: psychometric properties of tools available in Italy Tumori, 98(4):501-509

Cohen, M., Gagin, R., Cinamon, T., et al.. (2012). Translating ‘distress’ and screening for emotional distress in multicultural cancer patients in Israel Qual Life Res. 21(4), 555-562.

Dolbeault, S., Bredart, A., Mignot, V., et al (2008). Screening for psychological distress in two French cancer centers: feasibility and performance of the adapted distress thermometer. Palliative and Supportive Care, 6(02), 107-117.

Mitchell, A. J. (2007). Pooled results from 38 analyses of the accuracy of distress thermometer and other ultra-short methods of detecting cancer-related mood disorders. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 25(29), 4670-4681.

The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)

Maters, G. A., Sanderman, R., Kim, A. Y., Coyne JC. (2013). Problems in Cross-Cultural Use of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: “No Butterflies in the Desert”. PLOS One, 8(8), e70975.

Coyne, J. C., & van Sonderen, E. (2012). The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) is dead, but like Elvis, there will still be citings. J Psychosom Res., 73(1), 77-78.

Coyne, J. C., & van Sonderen, E. (2012). No further research needed: abandoning the Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS). J Psychosom Res. 72(3), 173-174.

Critique of “inclusion of patients already receiving treatment”

Thombs BD, Arthurs E, El-Baalbaki G, et al (2011). Risk of bias from inclusion of patients who already have diagnosis of or are undergoing treatment for depression in diagnostic accuracy studies of screening tools for depression: systematic review. BMJ  343

Palmer SC, Taggi A, DeMichele A, et al: (2012) Is screening effective in detecting untreated psychiatric disorders among newly diagnosed breast cancer patients? Cancer 118:2735-2743.

“Validation of screening instruments against unmet need”

Carey, M., Lambert, S., Smits, R., et al. (2012). The unfulfilled promise: a systematic review of interventions to reduce the unmet supportive care needs of cancer patients. Supportive Care in Cancer, 20(2), 207-219.

Sanson‐Fisher, R., Girgis, A., Boyes, A., Bonevski, B., Burton, L., & Cook, P. (2000). The unmet supportive care needs of patients with cancer. Cancer, 88(1), 226-237.

Harrison, J. D., Young, J. M., Price, M. A., Butow, P. N., & Solomon, M. J. (2009). What are the unmet supportive care needs of people with cancer? A systematic review. Supportive Care in Cancer, 17(8), 1117-1128.

Richardson, A., Medina, J., Brown, V., & Sitzia, J. (2007). Patients’ needs assessment in cancer care: a review of assessment tools. Supportive Care in Cancer, 15(10), 1125-1144.

“What we can learn from literature concerning screening for depression in medical settings”

Thombs, B. D., Coyne, J. C., Cuijpers, P., de Jonge, P., Gilbody, S., Ioannidis, J. P., … & Ziegelstein, R. C. (2012). Rethinking recommendations for screening for depression in primary care. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 184(4), 413-418.

“Pfizer gives $10 million grant to American psychologist…”

Coyne, JC Screening cancer patients for distress. The Skeptical Sleuth (Psychology Today blog).

“Increase inappropriate prescription of psychotropic medication…”

Palmer SC, Taggi A, DeMichele A, et al: (2012) Is screening effective in detecting untreated psychiatric disorders among newly diagnosed breast cancer patients? Cancer 118:2735-2743.