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Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs
Distress Thermometer, require nothing more than paper and pencil. Most are administered by patients themselves. Although some must be purchased commercially and require a licensing agreement and fee, others are available at no cost.
However, in addition to unresolved questions about the appropriate use and interpretation of the results obtained with these psychological screening tools (Trask, 2004; Mitchell and Coyne, 2007), their varying foci necessitate either administering multiple tools—infeasible for most clinical
Screening instruments are never 100 percent accurate and should be distinguished from diagnostic tools and processes. All screening instruments detect false positives (people without the condition whom the instrument falsely identifies as having the condition) and the converse (false negatives). Consequently, a measure of all screening tools is their predictive value—how accurately they identify those who actually have the condition(s) of interest (the instrument’s sensitivity) and identify those who do not (the instrument’s specificity).