Frequently Asked Questions about the Distress Screening Response Tools (DSRT)

Author: Christina Bach, MBE, LCSW, OSW-C
Last Reviewed: December 17, 2023

What is the DSRT?

The DSRT is the Distress Screening Response Tool. The DSRT is a first-of-its-kind resource for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to provide educational materials that focus on treatment and intervention for the practical, emotional, spiritual, and physical domains of cancer-related distress included in the NCCN Distress Thermometer and Problem List. The DSRT also includes distress management educational materials focused on financial distress, caregiving, complementary and alternative therapies, and survivorship.

Why the DSRT?

There is an expansive library about distress screening, but very little about what to do after you have screened the patient. The DSRT focuses on patient empowerment and is a patient-centered source of education and intervention tools

How do I use the DSRT with my patients and their caregivers?

After a patient has been screened for distress, the provider reviews specific problems that may be contributing to a patient’s distress. The DSRT includes problem-focused educational articles, video education modules, and webinars that educate and empower the patient and teach strategies for self-management of distress-producing issues. The DSRT also includes resources for further assistance.

Is there a cost to access the DSRT?

All content included in the DSRT is available free of charge to patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers.

Does the DSRT meet the Commission on Cancer guidelines for distress screening?

No. The DSRT is not a screening tool. The DSRT provides educational materials for responding to distress screening, regardless of the tool used, the score, or the pivotal point that has been determined by each treatment site.


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