As part of cancer treatment, it is advised that patients be screened for and given support for distress. This study aimed to assess distress levels, potential triggers, and adherence to psychosocial follow-up among women with ovarian cancer undergoing chemotherapy. As part of the research, researchers analyzed surveys filled out by chemo-treated patients with ovarian cancer and their families between October 2017 and June 2019. The NCCN Distress Thermometer, ranging from 0 (not at all) to 10 (extremely distressed), was used for screening by laypeople and nurses alike (highest distress). Positive screening was indicated for those with a distress score of more than or equal to 4 (moderate to severe). If a patient answered “yes” to any question about depression, the treatment care plan would recommend psychosocial follow-up regardless of the distress score. Regarding psychosocial follow-up, compliance was indicated by documentation of referral to a mental health professional or social worker for counseling. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted. Screening positive for distress in 97/211 (46%) ovarian cancer patients. Participants who had positive screen results averaged 6.1, while the overall cohort averaged 3.3 (range 0–10). Positive screening was linked to single status (P<0.01) but not to race (P=0.26) or history of illness recurrence (P=0.21). Patients who tested positive for distress had a higher median age (P<0.01). Cognitive/physical (87%), psychological (62%), practical (84%), and family issues (40%) accounted for the majority of reported sources of discomfort among patients who were evaluated. About 40 patients out of a total of 50 who were advised to seek psychosocial referral received some form of psychiatric follow-up, and 19 received social work counseling. Of those diagnosed with ovarian cancer, over 50% tested positive for moderate-to-severe discomfort. Many sought help for mental and physical issues related to their cancer or its treatment. To better manage their suffering, ovarian cancer patients require better metom monitoring and management methods during treatment, as well as access to resources for addressing their psychosocial problems.

Source: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0090825822004206