Break Down Barriers To Care With Distress Screening

For Patients

Research supports that asking people about how they are coping and what their needs are is an important first step in identifying important concerns, which can lead to improved quality of life, the ability to stay on treatment and overall patient satisfaction. The Cancer Support Community can help you develop a customized plan for coping with your situation using CancerSupportSource® (CSS) a brief survey that will help open the conversation about your unique needs and wants.

An integrated cancer distress screening program like CancerSupportSource can help identify concerns that need to be addressed early on in diagnosis before they become a barrier to care.

To learn more about how we can help you create a plan for social and emotional support and to learn more about cancer and how to cope, call our Helpline at 888-793-9355 or visit an affiliate near you.

For Healthcare Professionals

CancerSupportSource® (CSS) is the first comprehensive cancer distress screening program developed for community-based hospitals, physician practices and advocacy organizations to integrate screening, referral and follow-up care, through a single, streamlined, program.

Routine screening for social and emotional distress is a key component to comprehensive quality cancer care and is a recommendation of the 2008 Institute of Medicine’s Report, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient, Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs and also the new patient-centered standards from the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer which state that beginning in 2015, all cancer patients must be screened for distress if seen in an accredited cancer center.

CancerSupportSource helps cancer centers meet those critical standards easily and effectively. CancerSupportSource is more than a distress screening tool—it enables health care providers to create a vital program linking patient-reported needs with in-house and community support services.

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Frequently Asked Questions

CancerSupportSource can be used in any cancer care setting. CancerSupportSource is designed with the community practice setting in mind, where 85% of cancer patients are treated. CSS allows health care teams to thoroughly assess and address needs of cancer patients identified with distress. CSS integrates institutional and community programs to provide the necessary support resources improving overall quality of care, patient satisfaction and institutional efficiency.

How does it work? In less than 10 minutes, patients can complete a 15 or 25 item screening tool on any computer or tablet (at home or in office) with a standard browser. CancerSupportSource provides the patient with a Personal Support Care Plan with information and referrals for support services which can be emailed or printed. Providers receive a Patient Distress Management Report—a summary score of a patient’s results, including actionable clinical alerts to help staff triage a response.

Why is CSS different? CancerSupportSource enables patients to not only rate their concerns but to identify what specific assistance is needed. As a complete program offering automated screening, referral and follow-up for busy oncology settings, reports are instantly generated including resource fact sheets that can be customized for any institution. CSS is HIPAA compliant and can be linked to the EHR using HL7 and web services interface.

When is it available? CancerSupportSource is ready and available for implementation. It has been validated against standardized measures and pilot tested in multiple sites. Our team is available to present the CSS Program by phone or in-person. To learn more, visit or contact [email protected] or call 888-987-6722.

What is the long-term impact of coordinated care? Early identification of emotional distress and follow-up treatment through counseling and support services has repeatedly demonstrated direct benefit to the patient, their family and the health care system. Recent studies indicate that patients with general distress who participated in psychotherapeutic interventions experienced:

  • Decrease in depression1
  • Decrease in mood disturbance and psychiatric symptoms1
  • Improvement in coping, cognitive and emotional outcomes2 
  • Improvement in quality of life2 
  • Decrease billing to the health care system3

1. Holland, J.C., Andersen, B., Brietbart, W.S., Compas, B., Dudley M.M., Fleishman, S., …Zevon, M.A. (2010). Distress Management. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 8, 448-485. 
2. Clark, P. G., Bolte, S., Buzaglo J., Golant, M., Daratosos L., Loscalzo, M. (2012). From distress guidelines to developing models of psychosocial care: Current best practices. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. 
3. Carlson, L.E., Bultz, B.D. (2004). Efficacy and medical cost offset of psychosocial interventions in cancer care: Making the case for economic analysis. Psycho-Oncology, 13, 837-849.

For more information about CancerSupportSource personalized distress screening, please visit or contact [email protected] or call 888-987-6722.


How Can I Learn More About CancerSupportSource?

CancerSupportSource is ready and available for implementation today. It has been validated against standardized measures and pilot tested in multiple sites across the country. Cancer Support Community is currently working with Patient Planning Services to expand CancerSupportSource into care sites nationwide. The team from Patient Planning Services is available to present the CancerSupportSource Program by phone or in-person.

To learn more, visit or contact [email protected] or call 888-987-6722.