A nurse-assisted screening and referral program for depression among survivors of colorectal cancer : feasibility study

Livingston, Patricia M., Craike, Melinda J., White, Victoria M., Hordern, Amanda J., Jefford, Michael, Botti, Mari A., Lethborg, Carrie and Oldroyd, John C. 2010, A nurse-assisted screening and referral program for depression among survivors of colorectal cancer : feasibility study, Medical journal of Australia, vol. 193, no. 5, Supplement, pp. S83-S87.

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Title A nurse-assisted screening and referral program for depression among survivors of colorectal cancer : feasibility study
Author(s) Livingston, Patricia M.
Craike, Melinda J.
White, Victoria M.
Hordern, Amanda J.
Jefford, Michael
Botti, Mari A.
Lethborg, Carrie
Oldroyd, John C.
Journal name Medical journal of Australia
Volume number 193
Issue number 5
Season Supplement
Start page S83
End page S87
Total pages 5
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company Pty Ltd
Place of publication Strawberry Hills, N.S.W.
Publication date 2010-09-06
ISSN 0025-729X
1326-5377
Summary Objective: To test the feasibility and acceptability of a telephone-based program to screen survivors of colorectal cancer (CRC) for distress, and to refer distressed patients to their treating health service.

Design, setting and participants: A prospective, multicentre study involving 59 patients with CRC recruited from six public and private health services in Melbourne, Victoria, from 15 June 2008 to 22 September 2009. Patients who had completed adjuvant chemotherapy for CRC were contacted (7–10 days after recruitment [outcall one] and again 4 weeks later [outcall two]) by the Cancer Council Victoria’s helpline nurse, and screened for distress with the Distress and Impact Thermometer (DIT); participants were given tailored information and support and those with distress scores of ≥5, and impact scores of ≥4, were referred for follow-up. Telephone interviews were conducted 4 weeks after outcall two. Participating helpline and health service staff were surveyed on the feasibility and acceptability of the service. Main outcome measure: Anxiety and depression, measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

Results: Of the 59 patients (87%) who agreed to participate, 63% were men; their mean age was 59 years (SD, 9.5 years). HADS depression decreased significantly from baseline (mean score, 4.93; SD, 4.22) to follow-up (mean score, 3.84; SD, 4.10; Z = −2.375; P= 0.02). However, there was no significant difference in HADS anxiety between baseline (mean score, 5.29; SD, 4.11) and follow-up (mean score, 4.78; SD, 3.65). Outcall one generated two referrals (4% of participants) and outcall two generated four referrals
(8%); five of these six participants took up the referrals. Satisfaction with the program among participants was high; 82% found outcall one “quite or very helpful” and 79% found outcall two “quite or very helpful”. Helpline and health service staff reported a straightforward process that did not adversely affect workloads.

Conclusion: This model of care carries the potential to meet ongoing psychosocial needs of survivors of CRC.


Language eng
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, The Medical Journal of Australia
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30029945

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Created: Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 11:14:11 EST by Jane Moschetti

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