Research and Scholarship

Using a Quality Improvement Model to Implement Distress Screening in a Community Cancer Setting

Nancy Jo Bush,(1) DNP, RN, MA, AOCN®, FAAN, Joy R. Goebel,(2) RN, PhD, FPCN, Kholoud Hardan-Khalil,(2) PhD, RN, and Kayo Matsumoto,(3) MS, MFT

From (1) University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; (2) California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California; (3) Cancer Support Community, Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara, Westlake Village, California

Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Nancy Jo Bush, DNP, RN, MA, AOCN®, FAAN, UCLA School of Nursing, 700 Tiverton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095. E-mail: njbush@sonnet.ucla.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2020;11(8):825–834 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2020.11.8.3 | © 2020 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Background: Quality cancer care includes routine screening for psychosocial distress. This quality improvement project focused on the implementation of distress screening at a licensed affiliate of Cancer Support Community, a community-based non-profit organization that provides professionally led cancer support. Methods: An advanced practice oncology nurse assisted the staff in implementing and evaluating the process of distress screening. CancerSupportSource (CSS), a validated web-based distress screening program developed by Cancer Support Community for use in community cancer settings, was employed to screen for distress, identify potential resources, and improve in-house and community referrals. For purposes of this quality improvement project, CSS was administered in interview format by staff. The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) quality improvement approach was used to implement CSS. Results: To implement the practice of distress screening, 21 patient participants were initially screened and evaluated for distress, including risk for clinically significant levels of depression, using CSS. The tool identified participant concerns and flagged thirteen persons as at risk for depression. After implementation and evaluation of distress screening using PDSA, in a year, 51 participants were screened. Participants stated that distress screening allowed for discussion of intimate questions that may not have otherwise occurred in an intake interview. Conclusion: It was demonstrated that CSS identified psychosocial and practical needs, facilitating the referral process and identification of community resources. Application of the PDSA model was an effective quality improvement model that can be used for the implementation and sustainability of distress screening across settings.




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