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Symptom cluster patterns during the first year after diagnosis with cancer
School of Nursing, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Cancer Care Research Centre, University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom; Division of Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Cancer Care Research Centre, University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, ISSN 0885-3924, E-ISSN 1873-6513, Vol. 39, no 5, 847-858 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context. Research about clusters of symptoms in oncology is an emerging field of study. However, there is still conceptual confusion about clusters of symptoms and little agreement across studies. Objectives. The aim of the present study was to explore clusters of symptoms over time in a large heterogeneous group of patients with cancer and thereby contribute to the conceptual and methodological debate in this research area. Methods. A longitudinal design was used to assess symptoms in cancer patients over four time points during the first year after diagnosis using the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale. The study recruited 143 patients from five U.K. cancer centers and provided 504 symptom assessments at the beginning of treatment and 3, 6, and 12 months later. Results. Six symptom clusters were identified at the first assessment, which were maintained across the assessment points with slight variations. These included gastrointestinal, hand/foot, body image, respiratory, nutritional, and emotional symptom clusters. The behavior of the clusters over time highlighted the complexities of symptom cluster assessment and the dynamic relationships between symptoms. Frequency, severity, and distress from symptoms were significantly higher (up to 75% higher) in patients who experienced a cluster of symptoms than in the overall sample, suggesting that symptom assessments in unselected patients underestimate the symptom burden in subgroups of patients. Conclusion. We propose attention to symptom clusters that are stable across time and include core or defining symptoms within the cluster, and we further discuss the usefulness and applicability of conceptual and methodological criteria used in this study for future symptom cluster research. J Pain Symptom Manage 2010;39:847-858. (C) 2010 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 39, no 5, 847-858 p.
Keyword [en]
Symptom Cluster Patterns During the First Year After Diagnosis with Cancer
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-36328DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.09.012ISI: 000278239100006PubMedID: 20226621Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77952111234OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-36328DiVA: diva2:746310
Available from: 2014-09-12 Created: 2014-09-02 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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