Polaris researchers are continuously analyzing data collected by the Polaris Oncology Distress Management System to better understand the breadth of psychosocial distress felt by cancer patients.
The Polaris team recently studied a sample of 854 patients from seven cancer centers who had completed the Polaris Oncology patient assessment. Confirming other research in the field, 35 percent of patients reported experiencing at least moderate distress.
- 30 percent of patients reported concerns about finances or insurance coverage
- 25 percent of patients were caregivers for young children or elderly persons: anxiety was statistically significantly higher for this group; financial and insurance concerns were also higher
- An inverse correlation was found between age and distress–younger patients reported greater distress
- Heightened distress was associated with greater levels of anxiety, depression, pain and difficulties with daily functioning
Identification of these psychosocial concerns is only the first step. If left unaddressed, the distress patients experience can have an impact on their compliance with treatment and overall well being.
Polaris Oncology connects patients to the programs and resources they need using its automated referral, triggers and alerting capabilities. It also administers monitoring assessments, because a patient’s psychosocial distress often varies over the course of treatment. As part of these monitoring assessments, the system asks patients whether they have followed up with their recommended care.