An analysis of Social Work Oncology Network Listserv Postings on the Commission of Cancer's distress screening guidelines.

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Journal of psychosocial oncology, ISSN: 1540-7586, Vol: 30, Issue: 6, Page: 636-51

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Burg, Mary Ann; Adorno, Gail; Hidalgo, Jorge
Informa UK Limited
Medicine; Psychology; oncology social work; distress screening; listserv; qualitative analysis; Psychology; Social; distress screening; listserv; oncology social work; qualitative analysis; Applied Psychology; Oncology; Psychiatry and Mental health
article description
This is a qualitative study of listserv postings by members of the Social Work Oncology Network (SWON) in response to the Commission on Cancer's 2011 guidelines for distress screening of cancer patients. Archived listserv postings for the period of December 2010 to November 2011 were deidentified and a sample was derived by a list of keywords for the analysis. Aims of the study included describing the general categories and themes of the postings devoted to the new distress screening standard and examining the process of facilitation of mutual support and information exchange by oncology social workers in response to the new screening standards. During the 12-month timeframe there were 242 unique listserv postings sampled for the analysis. Oncology social worker (OSW) discussion of the distress screening guidelines remained a constant topic over the 12 months, and major themes that emerged from the data included processes of implementation of distress screening in cancer centers, screening policies and protocols, screening tool choice, and oncology social worker professional identity. The SWON listserv members used the listserv as a mechanism to post their requests for information on screening, to share their experiences in the beginning stages of implementing the guidelines, and to build support for legitimizing oncology social workers as the lead profession in the implementation of the guidelines in member cancer centers.