Faculty Advisor(s)

Amy Litterini
Michael Sheldon

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Ashley Tomaswick, Sebastian Stoltzfus, Margaret Masiak, Erika Lopez, Mary Leopold, Alyssa Grigware, Samantha Fisk, Matthew Denning


The goal of this project is to determine which physical distress screening tools are most appropriate to trigger a wellness or rehabilitation referral when it is warranted for a survivor. The use of effective screening tools will assist in directing cancer survivors, who experience physical and emotional burdens caused by the disease and subsequent treatment, to access services that will continue to improve their overall quality of life upon completion of cancer treatment or in a setting of ongoing palliative care. These measures should focus on functional mobility, balance, fatigue, and distress. Additionally, there are many common tests used to quantify the subjective burden of pain, confidence, and difficulty with daily tasks. Outcome measures such as these should be implemented throughout the course of treatment, with consistency, for patients with cancer to promote early recognition of impairments. Improved education for patients and healthcare providers alike on the services available, possible benefits of such referrals, and the importance of carefully selected measures to monitor functional change has the potential to begin to bridge the current gap between medical oncology treatment and the network of other rehabilitative healthcare services, as well as to improve the quality of life for our surviving family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and colleagues.


This work was supported by The Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society Student-Led Project Grant and undertaken in collaboration with the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing as well as the Rehabilitation Services and the Cancer Center at Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC).

The presentation given to stakeholders regarding implementation of this paper's recommendations can be found here:




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