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Emotional assessment

Guidance for professionals

Here are 2 Canadian psychosocial oncology guideline documents that provide recommendations for:

  1. screening and assessment for distress, depression and global anxiety in adults with cancer1
  2. identifying appropriate interventions and/or referral to relevant psychosocial and supportive care services2

While not specific to cancer and work, these guidelines are the most up-to-date reviews and recommendations for assessment used by professionals.

Patient psychological self-assessment tools

The Pan-Canadian Clinical Practice Guideline: Assessment of Psychosocial Health Care Needs of the Adult Cancer Patient recommends self-monitoring tools that patients can use.

There are a number of other psychological screening tools available online. Although not specific to cancer, these tools can still help you identify whether a patient is struggling with low mood or anxiety as a result of cancer or its treatment, or low mood before their diagnosis. These tools will also help you identify some of the mental health issues a patient may have before or after returning to work. One tool to which you can refer patients is the interactive website MoodFX.

The Lams Employment Absence and Productivity Scale (LEAPS) has been developed for physicians to assess those who are coping with depression and have returned to work. The 10-item scale completed by patients helps physicians make decisions as to whether a patient should stay at work, whether work functioning improves with symptoms and whether changes in treatments are needed.   See the LEAPS PDF document on under Resources, Clinician Resources, Lams Employment Absence and Productivity Scale.