Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Oncology Screening Tool in Identification of Outpatient Needs for Multidisciplinary Health Services

Amy Chiu (2013). Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Oncology Screening Tool in Identification of Outpatient Needs for Multidisciplinary Health Services Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Amy Chiu
Thesis Title Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Oncology Screening Tool in Identification of Outpatient Needs for Multidisciplinary Health Services
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-05-21
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Dr Vanessa Cobham
Total pages 171
Language eng
Subjects 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Abstract/Summary The Oncology Screening Tool (OST) was developed to assist clinicians in being able to recognise patients who needed support whilst undergoing chemotherapy. The OST was developed due to the lack of multidisciplinary and multi-dimensional items, and other limitations found in existing screening tools. The team at the Mater Adult Hospital Oncology Department developed the OST by short listing from a large item pool that was created from literature reviews and consultations with other clinicians and patients. A list of problems and situations were identified that are generally experienced by patients during the course of chemotherapy. Patients are asked to rate the severity of each symptoms/ problems and how much it bothers them. Clinicians use the OST to identify and prioritise patients who need support based on patients’ responses on the OST. Interventions and services are then able to be provided to ensure that patients remain well-supported throughout their chemotherapy. The overall aim of this paper was to evaluate the OST. This was done by conducting two studies, which involved 47 males (Mage = 63.3 years, SDage = 10.45) and 154 females (Mage = 55.5 years, SDage = 11.36). The first study examined how the OST measured against the eight criteria deemed by other researchers as important aspects of an effective screening tool. The OST was deemed: 1) to include patients’ needs from a cancer-related multidimensional aspect, 2) to assess patients’ subjective needs, 3) patient friendly, 4) system friendly, 5) to have referral guidelines in place to link support services to risk factors, and 6) to assess needs for clinical purposes. One criterion, which was related to symptoms being defined within a certain period, needs to be examined and modified in future revision of the OST. The other remaining criterion, that is, reliability and validity of the OST produced mixed results as it demonstrated high levels of internal consistency/reliability in five out of seven domains, good face and content validity, known-groups validity in patients receiving chemotherapy with a curative intent versus metastatic/palliative intent, and identified patients with head and neck cancer in the speech and language pathology domain. Sensitivity to change and other validity measures were not able to be examined adequately due to certain limitations. The second study examined gender-differences in self-reporting behaviours on the OST. An exploratory study was conducted and gender differences were found in certain symptoms and domains on the OST. Furthermore, clinicians were asked after having assessed a patient, to rate, if the patients’ responses on the items on the OST were different or consistent to responses on the same items when they were assessed during a clinician-conducted assessment. The majority of females were found to report consistently on both the OST and during the clinicians’ assessment. However, more males were found to report differently on the OST and during the clinicians’ assessment than their female counterparts. Due to the small and unequal sample size groups, lack of a control group, and other psychometric issues, results generated needed to be interpreted with caution. However, clinical implications of the results obtained from the two studies were discussed and is believed that it will add to the limited and inconclusive body of literature. Strengths and limitations identified from the present study offer clinicians future directions when modifying the OST to enable its full potential as an effective screening tool to accurately identify patients’ needs and offer appropriate holistic supports and services.
Keyword screening tool
assessment, oncology
quality of life

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Created: Tue, 21 May 2013, 14:51:23 EST by Amy Chiu on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences