Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Bridgette Malchow


The National Institute of Health has estimated that over 1 million new cancer cases will occur yearly. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly associated with near death experiences or traumatic events, such as cancer diagnosis and treatment. There is a lack of knowledge and awareness by healthcare professionals in identifying PTSD in cancer patients. In this population, PTSD symptoms often contribute to anxiety, and there is no standardized protocol being used to screen these individuals for the trauma they are facing or have faced. The purpose of this project was to develop a clinical practice guideline for screening cancer patients for PTSD in a clinic population serving cancer patients. The stress theory developed by Lazarus and Folkman guided this project. The project questions were to identify the most appropriate screening tool for PTSD in cancer patients and recommend a clinical practice guideline to the clinic healthcare providers. Five widely used PTSD screening tools were reviewed. Based on the project question the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale was identified as the most appropriate for this clinic setting and patient population. An expert panel consisting of 3 experienced psychiatric nurse practitioners reviewed the proposed guideline using the AGREE II tool. Using a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree), the team members agreed with a score of 5 or higher in each domain with the proposed guideline. Utilization of this guideline will promote a positive social change towards mental health awareness and improve the quality of life for these patients and their families.