Many cancer patients experience psychosocial problems that go unnoticed by caregivers. To improve this situation, an instrument has been developed and tested to identify such problems. This instrument, the integral checklist, was put to the test in two outpatient departments of different hospitals with an intervention and a control group (105 and 124 patients, respectively). To evaluate the efficiency of the checklist, both groups had to complete a questionnaire after consultation. Results showed that the checklist assisted specialists to be more often pro-active in discussing psychosocial problems with their patients, and more patients with psychosocial problems were referred. Most of the patients appreciated going through the checklist with their specialist. The checklist proves to fit in well with hospital routines and using it costs the specialist no extra time. It appears to be an instrument which improves efficiency of consultation. Moreover, the checklist is turned out to be useful as a management tool to divert patients' attention away from the waiting time.

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Patient Education and Counseling
Department of Otorhinolaryngology

Pruyn, J.F.A, Heule-Dieleman, H.A.G, Knegt, P.P, Mosterd, F.R, van Hest, M.A.G, Sinnige, H, … de Boer, M.F. (2004). On the enhancement of efficiency in care for cancer patients in outpatient clinics: An instrument to accelerate psychosocial screening and referral. Patient Education and Counseling, 53(2), 135–140. doi:10.1016/S0738-3991(03)00127-7