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Responding to patients' needs

MarianneArabFinancial concerns, worries about family, fears, sadness, frustration, anger and fatigue are among the emotional and psychosocial issues cancer patients often face in addition to those medical issues specific to their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In fact attention to emotional and psychosocial support is an area Nova Scotia cancer patients identify as important and one that the cancer system can improve upon.

This insight, gleaned from national and provincial patient satisfaction surveys, in part, prompted the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to develop the national screening for distress initiative.

Screening for Distress has since been identified as an accreditation standard and now is a standard of care for Nova Scotia. First pilot tested in this province in 2009, work is now underway to integrate screening for distress into routine cancer care across the province. 

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