Screening adult survivors of childhood cancer with the distress thermometer: A comparison with the SCL-90-R Journal Article


Authors: Recklitis, C. J.; Licht, I.; Ford, J.; Oeffinger, K.; Diller, L.
Article Title: Screening adult survivors of childhood cancer with the distress thermometer: A comparison with the SCL-90-R
Abstract: As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow, identification of brief, valid psychological screening measures will be a critical step in providing them with appropriate psychosocial care. The distress thermometer (DT) is a one-item distress screening that is recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for screening cancer patients, but has not been evaluated for cancer survivors. This study evaluated the validity of the DT compared to the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) in a sample of 119 adult survivors of childhood cancer aged 18-45 (median = 23.5). Results indicated that when using the NCCN suggested cut-off score of 5, the DT only identified 20 of the 36 SCL-90-R-positive cases of psychological distress (sensitivity 55.6%; specificity 80.7%). Using an alternative DT cut-off score of 4 identified 23 of the 36 SCL-90-R-positive cases (sensitivity 63.9%; specificity 65.1%). Receiver operating characteristics analysis indicated that the DT had only fair diagnostic utility relative to the SCL-90-R (AUC = 0.72). Results do not support the validity of the DT in adult survivors of childhood cancer. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keywords: adolescent; adult; controlled study; middle aged; leukemia; major clinical study; area under the curve; cancer patient; sensitivity and specificity; neoplasms; mass screening; oncology; childhood cancer; pediatric; cancer survivor; survivors; sarcoma; neuroblastoma; diagnostic value; screening; lymphoma; psychiatric status rating scales; scoring system; distress syndrome; psychosocial care; intermethod comparison; validity; health care organization; health care delivery; roc curve; stress, psychological; nephroblastoma; receiver operating characteristic; psychologic assessment; symptom checklist 90
Journal Title: Psycho-Oncology
Volume: 16
Issue: 11
ISSN: 1057-9249
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons  
Date Published: 2007-11-01
Start Page: 1046
End Page: 1049
Language: English
DOI: 10.1002/pon.1212
PUBMED: 17506074
PROVIDER: scopus
DOI/URL:
Notes: --- - "Cited By (since 1996): 13" - "Export Date: 17 November 2011" - "CODEN: POJCE" - "Source: Scopus"
Altmetric Score
MSK Authors
  1. Jennifer S Ford
    57 Ford
  2. Kevin Oeffinger
    255 Oeffinger