Oncology Nursing: “Detecting Distress” by O’Connor

Purpose of the Study

A high level of distress is one of the main consequences of the process of fighting against cancer. It is crucial for healthcare professionals to be able to detect signs of distress in their patients. Particularly, a study by O’Connor, Tanner, Miller, Watts and Musiello (2017) investigated how the “screening for distress” affected the patients who suffered from gynecologic cancer (p. 80).

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Research & Design

The article addressed a specific issue and did not attempt to make any generalizations; that is why this research may be called applied. Furthermore, in this article, the authors implemented both quantitative and qualitative methods, which makes it a mixed study. The authors used a descriptive design, as their primary purpose was to explore a particular case by collecting, analyzing, and evaluating the data.


The sample consisted of 62 female patients who were suffering from gynecologic cancer. Women were required to be at least 18 years old, have a diagnosis of gynecologic cancer, and be able to complete the Distress Thermometer (DT) and Problem List (PL). In order to gain a sample, the research officer visited each of the possible participants and asked them if they want to be involved in the study.

Data Collection

Firstly, the patients who agree to take part in the research completed the Distress Thermometer and Problem List. In the DT, the patients had to mark their current level of stress, and in the PL, they were to answer 39 questions with possible answers of “yes” or “no.” Secondly, qualitative data was gathered by interviewing healthcare professionals.

Data Analysis

The data analysis was performed with the SPSS software package. Such methods as a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Pearson chi-squared test were used to investigate the difference between certain groups. When implementing ANOVA, the researcher’s null hypothesis states that the group means do not differ significantly. The alternative hypothesis is that at least one group mean is different from others. Therefore, the authors could test a hypothesis that the level of stress does not depend on specific characteristics like age.


The researchers were not able to include in the sample all the patients who met the requirements. This happened because some patients stayed in the clinic only for a short time, and some of them were not available on certain days. This resulted in a relatively small sample of only 62 people.


The analysis of the Problem List showed that 226 problems were due to the psychosocial factors, and 207 were influenced by the physical conditions of the patients. Among the main concerns of the patients, the authors name “nervousness, worry, and fears” (O’Connor et al., 2017, p. 82). Moreover, such symptoms of depression as sorrow and loss of interest were also among the most common problems. The authors believe that some of these problems may be tackled by empathizing with patients, but some require professional assistance. The interesting thing about the study is how the results vary across the groups. The data analysis showed that one could observe differences in the Distress Thermometer between certain age groups. However, the number of problems did not vary significantly between the groups.

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I think it is essential to read research literature because it can provide an insight into some sophisticated areas of science and also teach how to address the problems. After completing this reading research literature activity, I know how to state the problem and the purpose of the paper. Moreover, I have become familiar with various types of researches and designs. I have also got familiar with some statistical tools that can be utilized for data analysis. All in all, I think I can apply this knowledge both to my studies and work.


O’Connor, M., Tanner, P., Miller, L., Watts, K., & Musiello, T. (2017). Detecting distress: Introducing routine screening in a gynecological cancer setting. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 21(1), 79-85. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, July 19). Oncology Nursing: “Detecting Distress” by O’Connor. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/oncology-nursing-detecting-distress-by-oconnor/

Work Cited

"Oncology Nursing: “Detecting Distress” by O’Connor." StudyCorgi, 19 July 2021, studycorgi.com/oncology-nursing-detecting-distress-by-oconnor/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Oncology Nursing: “Detecting Distress” by O’Connor." July 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/oncology-nursing-detecting-distress-by-oconnor/.


StudyCorgi. "Oncology Nursing: “Detecting Distress” by O’Connor." July 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/oncology-nursing-detecting-distress-by-oconnor/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Oncology Nursing: “Detecting Distress” by O’Connor." July 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/oncology-nursing-detecting-distress-by-oconnor/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Oncology Nursing: “Detecting Distress” by O’Connor'. 19 July.

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