Psychosocial Effects and Distress Management in the Oncology Population (38:36)

a seminar included in:

COURSE: Core Competencies in Interdisciplinary Cancer Rehabilitation



Distress, and other psychological effects, can occur at any point during the cancer care continuum and significantly impact a patient’s and caregiver’s overall well-being. It is imperative that oncology care providers are knowledgeable in both the disease management process as well as how the disease process impacts a survivor’s life.

This seminar offers an in-depth perspective on the concept of distress as an important sequela of cancer diagnosis and treatment. A full scope of mental health concerns can range in severity from “normal” stress reactions to the development of clinically significant psychological conditions. This spectrum of symptom presentation in the oncology population, along with common biopsychosocial triggers for distress, will be reviewed.

Our expert presenter will review trends in treatment interventions and discuss distress management standards of care, guidelines, and recommendations. The audience will learn about specific screening tools to identify psychosocial needs, team treatment strategies and interventions, and guidelines for incorporating these mental health treatment strategies into care plans.

The presenter advocates for and discusses the importance of a strong, team-based approach for addressing distress as an essential “vital sign” and providing best practice management. She reinforces the value and patients’ benefit of a multidisciplinary care approach, including improved mental health and quality of life, optimized treatment outcomes, patient satisfaction, and improved patient-team rapport and communication.


  • Discuss psychological distress as an important sequela of cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Describe the correlation of psychosocial distress on quality of life, mortality and common comorbidities
  • Identify the interdisciplinary cancer care team members pertinent for team triage to address psychological distress
  • Review the current assessment and outcome tools used to measure psychological distress
  • Become familiar with common treatment and risk stratification interventions to manage psychological distress
  • Discuss how working as a multi-team system can decrease psychological stress