Adolescent and young adult cancer patients (AYAs) often experience profound psychological distress, with various unmet supportive care needs that can be alleviated with appropriate screening and attention by healthcare workers. The Distress Thermometer and Problem List-Japanese version (DTPL-J) is our previously developed screening tool to facilitate individual support of AYAs. This study evaluated the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a psychosocial support program based on the DTPL-J for AYAs in clinical practice.
This multicenter, retrospective, observational study included 19 of 126 wards and 9 of 75 outpatient clinics at 8 institutions in Japan. Over 200 patients were expected to participate during the eligibility period. Patients participated in a support program at least once, and approximately once a month based on the DTPL-J results. The program was evaluated using the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) implementation framework.
The screening rate of the 361 participants was 90.3%, suggesting high feasibility. Distress Thermometer scores, the number of supportive care needs, and the rates of AYAs with high distress were significantly reduced 1 month after screening (p < 0.05), suggesting the preliminary effectiveness of the program. The program was continued at the 8 institutions as part of routine care after the study.
Analysis using the RE-AIM suggested the sufficient feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a psychosocial support program based on the DTPL-J for AYAs.
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