Assessment of Symptoms in Cancer Patients

Background: Cancer patients experience multiple symptoms which may be caused by the disease itself or its treatment. Factors like age, gender, and concurrent diseases may also influence the symptomatology. Aim: To assess the type and the severity of symptoms experienced by patients who suffer from malignancies and receive chemotherapy. Material-Method: The study population consisted of 211 randomly selected cancer patients, from December 2014 to April 2015, undergoing chemotherapy in a public hospital in Athens. Data collection was conducted using the MD. Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI). Statistical analysis was performed with IBM SPSS 18. Results: Out of 211 cancer patients, 56.9% were male and 43.1% female. The mean duration of the disease was 6 months. The most strongly basic symptoms of patients were sadness (mean=2.2), fatigue (2.9), sleep disorder (2.4) and anxiety (2.9) while the less strongly symptoms were vomiting (0.1), nausea (0.3) and diarrhea (0.4). The most strongly additional symptoms were cough and excessive dryness of the throat. The mean rating of the basic symptoms was 1.5, additional symptoms 0.5 and total symptom 1.3. The consequences of symptoms were stronger in walking, at work, at leisure in the house and in general activity. The sector that was less affected by the symptoms was the relationship of patients with other people. The mean rating of the incidence of symptoms was 2.9. Females and graduates of compulsory education strongly experienced the symptoms of chemotherapy compared with other patients. Conclusions: Caregivers should be alerted to the number of symptoms a patient can withstand, since the appearance of a large number of symptoms in a patient is associated with reduced quality of life. The nursing interventions should therefore aim at reducing the individual symptoms as well as the amount and severity of symptoms.

Category: Volume 55, N 4
Hits: 44 Hits
Created Date: 15-12-2016
Authors: Despoina Alamanou , Alexandra Ioannidou , Eleni Poulianou