Engaging patients as partners in cancer care: An innovative strategy to implement screening for distress?

Jacynthe Rivest, Véronique Desbaumes Jodoin, Irène Leboeuf, Nathalie Folch, Joé T. Martineau, Geneviève Beaudet-Hillman, Claudine Tremblay

Abstract


Patient distress is frequently missed in everyday cancer care, yet can be associated with decreased quality of life and satisfaction with care, as well as increased risk for comorbidity and morbidity. Considered as an aspect of a patient-centred approach, screening for distress is now an international standard of practice and constitutes an accreditation criterion for cancer centers in the USA and Canada. Inspired by existing health partnership models, the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal’s (CHUM) Integrative Cancer Care Center recruited patients to act as partners during the creation and implementation of its screening for distress program. Patient partner roles in the program included becoming a member of a specialized psychosocial oncology team, contributing to a healthcare professional training program and helping to select tools to detect distress. This paper describes why and how the CHUM cancer care centre developed an innovative screening for distress program, using a patient partnership approach, to better meet the needs of patients with cancer.


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References


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