Adjustment to Cancer: Anxiety and Distress (2 credit hours)

Program Summary:  This course explores the psychosocial adjustment to cancer along a continuum of normal adjustment, psychosocial distress, adjustment disorders, and anxiety disorders.   The course examines distress and coping at each critical stage of the illness.  A discussion of screening, assessment, treatment, and pharmacotherapy is included.

This course is recommended for social workers and counselors and is appropriate for beginning and intermediate levels of practice.

“Book  Open the Course Reading Here.

Publisher:  National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to adjustment to cancer.

Learning Objectives:  Describe the continuum of distress.  Identify common periods of crisis and challenge during the the cancer illness.  Describe treatment interventions for adjustment disorders and anxiety disorders.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

Course Available Until: March 31, 2024.

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1: Adjustment to cancer is
2: Across different cancer types, stronger predictors of distress include
3: Which of the following describes the psychosocial assessment?
4: Self-report screening instruments are better for
5: Screening for distress without the availability of appropriate _____________ is considered unethical.
6: When talking to patients about psychosocial needs, health care professionals should use words such as
7: Common periods of crisis and significant challenge include which of the following?
8: Seeking information about treatment option survival rates is an example of
9: Coping style is often closely related to
10: For most individuals, adjustment to completing treatment causes a normal ____________ of distress.
11: The adjustment from posttreatment to long-term survivorship is
12: Which of the following is an example of distress?
13: For most patients, levels of psychosocial distress are highest during the earliest days of their cancer experience and, for many dissipate quickly.
14: Which is the most commonly diagnosed mental health issue in the oncology setting?
15: Which treatment option for adjustment disorder is based on the idea that mental, emotional, and even physical symptoms partly stem from thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, resulting in poor adaptation?
16: Given the nature of adjustment disorders, clinical experience suggests that, if available, an initial trial of _________________ should be tried first.
17: Investigators have found that _______________ of patients with cancer reported significant anxiety.
18: In the patient with advanced disease, anxiety is often caused by
19: Acute onset of anxiety may be a precursor of an impending medical event, such as
20: Patients with cancer who engage in compulsive behaviors such as hand washing, checking, or counting to such an extent that they cannot comply with treatment may have
21: Patients who present with hypervigilance to potential physical symptoms and extreme focus on cancer status may present with
22: Which of the following is a symptom of common or normal worry as opposed to more serious symptoms of anxiety?
23: The use of medications to treat anxiety disorders is considered when
24: Benzodiazepines are effective in the ____________ treatment of anxiety disorders.
25: SSRIs and SNRIs are considered first-line pharmacotherapy for ____________ management of anxiety disorders.
26: When treating severe treatment-resistant anxiety, the use of neuroleptics or anticonvulsants is considered

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2021 - 9/6/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 2 clinical continuing education credits.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City. She has practiced for many years in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.