Screening for distress in young people after treatment for sarcoma: A feasibility study.


Few validated tools are available in childhood cancers settings to assess distress and worry. Twenty-one young people (mean age = 14 years), with an average 4 years since diagnosis, attended a sarcoma follow-up clinic and were asked to complete questionnaires assessing general mood and behavior, quality of life, and distress. All young people completed the Distress Thermometer. However, as the age range was quite wide (9-18 years), different questionnaires were also used with different age groups to assess feasibility and acceptance. In addition, young people were asked for their views about the questionnaires they had completed, asked about previous psychological support, and were asked to rate how useful they had found the medical appointment. Finally, they were asked whether or not they would like a member of the psychology team to contact them to discuss any issues that had been raised by the questionnaires. Patients reported impaired health status and worry about lifestyle, daily activities, and emotional well-being. A health-related quality of life measure (EQ-5D) and an adapted version of the Distress Thermometer were more sensitive than traditional measures and may serve as useful tools to screen for psychological concerns in busy clinical settings.