Associations of practical, emotional, and physical problems with psychosocial distress among cancer patients

Mark William Flanagan, Heather H. Goltz, John W. Henson, Matthew Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To better understand the relationship between cancer patient distress and psychosocial variables, including problem types, to improve ability to predict and address psychosocial need. Methods: A variation of National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Distress Thermometer (DT) was administered and collected at four sites from an Integrated Network Cancer Program (INCP). The presence of moderate/severe distress was examined relative to patient demographics, disease characteristics, and psychosocial problems. Results: Distress scores were positively correlated with all problem counts. For every count increase of practical, emotional, and physical problems, and for every cancer stage increase the odds of reporting a moderate/severe distress score was significantly higher. Relative to patients with one cancer treatment type, patients with three cancer treatment types were significantly less likely to report moderate/severe distress. Conclusion: Problem count could be a useful indicator for clinical intervention. Stage and number of treatment types may also be considered clinically relevant distress predictors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-114
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • distress
  • patient assessment
  • psychosocial
  • quality of life
  • symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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