Consensus-Building efforts to identify best tools for screening and assessment for supportive services in oncology.

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Publication Date


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Disability and rehabilitation


Measurement; oncology; rehabilitation; supportive care services; treatment toxicities


PURPOSE: To build consensus around an optimal patient-reported outcome measure of cancer symptoms and patient needs to facilitate patient-provider communication and trigger referrals to supportive services.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: The Grid-Enabled Measures platform was used to crowdsource and facilitate collaboration to achieve consensus. Respondents were invited to nominate and independently rate the usefulness of measures that: (1) have been actively used at a healthcare institution, (2) have a multiple choice or yes/no type format, (3) are applicable to adults with cancer, (4) are patient-reported, and 5) have psychometric data if possible. Discussion boards within the GEM workspace allowed respondents to identify barriers to implementing patient assessment and referral systems.

RESULTS: 166 individuals from various disciplines from 25 organizations participated. Six instruments were nominated, and 553 rating surveys were submitted. The three most highly-rated overall instruments were the Distress Thermometer, the James Supportive Case Screening, and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General. Participants noted that wide-scale implementation of this process requires both identifying problems and providing clinicians with algorithms to facilitate appropriate referrals.

CONCLUSIONS: Consensus reported three most highly-related measures as optimal for comprehensive screening and identification for referral by assessing multiple domains of functioning and quality of life. Implications for Rehabilitation Gaining consensus on the best patient reported outcome measures is an important step towards improving access to cancer rehabilitation services. A consensus agreed on several measures to use for cancer rehabilitation screening. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General, National Comprehensive Cancer. Network Distress Thermometer and the James Instrument. The selected measures do not put undue burden on clinicians and patients.

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