In 2008, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering) released its influential report, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs, which called attention to the importance of the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and the consequences of these needs remaining unmet. The IOM report concludes:
Attending to psychosocial needs should be an integral part of quality cancer care. All components of the health care system that are involved in cancer care should explicitly incorporate attention to psychosocial needs.
Today, there is an increasing body of knowledge around this area, and organizations like the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and others are including distress screening as part of their guidelines and accreditation standards.
ACCC, along with its project partner APOS, identified three ACCC member programs that are serving as model sites for the “Psychosocial Distress Screening” project.