Current Status of Screening for Emotional Distress


Presentation Description:
Routine screening for emotional distress has been identified as a standard of care for all cancer patients. However, identifying appropriate screening measures that have both clinical and research utility is not a simple undertaking. What information to collect, how to collect it, and how to use the information to improve clinical care are all questions to be taken into consideration. Dr. Madeline Li is the creator of the Distress Assessment and Response Tool (DART) that has been used since 2010 at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center. She will provide a brief overview of the development and implementation of DART. Adolescents and young adults with cancer (age 15-39, AYA) are recognized to have unique psychosocial issues and distress screening must be tailored to assess their specific concerns. Dr. D’Agostino will present the adaptation of DART for AYA and she will give a brief overview of work being done internationally to develop an AYA-specific distress screening tool.

Madeline Li, MD, PhD
Psychiatrist, Department of Supportive Care
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Dr. Li is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University Health Network, University of Toronto and a psychiatrist in Psychosocial Oncology, Department of Supportive Care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. In addition to clinical practice in cancer psychiatry, she conducts collaborative research in the areas of psychoneuroimmunology and psychosocial cancer research. She has authored several publications, guidelines and interprofessional education resources on the topic of management for anxiety and depression in cancer patients. She has served as a Psychosocial Oncology Clinical Lead in Toronto for Cancer Care Ontario, and is the developer and physician lead of the Distress Assessment and Response Tool (DART) program at Princess Margaret.

Norma D’Agostino, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Clinical Health Psychologist, University Health Network
Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

Dr. D’Agostino is a Staff Psychologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She is a registered psychologist with the College of Psychologists in Ontario and holds an appointment as Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.

Dr. D’Agostino has over 10 years of professional experience in pediatric and adult psychosocial oncology. Her clinical work and research focuses on young adults with cancer, including long-term survivors of childhood cancer. The goals of her work are to create developmentally appropriate psycho-social resources for adolescent and young adults with cancer, optimizing the transition process of emerging adulthood, and exploring how the illness experience in early life influences psychosocial adjustment and development across the life-span.

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