Symptom trajectories in posttreatment cancer survivors.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William N. Dudley, Professor Public Health Education (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background: Cancer survivorship following cancer treatment is uncertain as physical and psychological sequelae related to the disease or its treatment may persist. However, little is known about the experience of symptoms after treatment. Objectives: The purposes of this study were to (1) examine postchemotherapy (post-CTX) symptom trajectories in cancer survivors and (2) determine whether demographic characteristics predicted symptom trajectories. Methods: One hundred patients who recently completed CTX for lung cancer, colorectal cancer, or lymphoma rated symptoms on an electronic patient care monitor system prior to ambulatory care visits. Latent growth curve analyses were conducted to examine the trajectories of pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, distress, and depression for 16 months after initial CTX. Results: Symptoms were present at the first follow-up visit following CTX (P < .0001) and persisted over 16 months. The depression trajectory was predicted by sex: males showed a convex curvilinear growth trajectory, whereas females showed a concave trajectory (P < .05). Higher distress was predicted by younger age (P < .05). Conclusions: Psychological and physical symptoms persisted over the 16-month period following CTX for the entire sample. Sex differences in coping could partially explain the different trajectories of growth for depression, but further studies are warranted. Younger patients may be more vulnerable for distress during this posttreatment phase. Implications for Practice: The posttreatment surveillance plan for cancer survivors should include a comprehensive assessment of psychological and physical symptoms. Persistence of symptoms can be expected in some patients, and supportive interventions should be tailored according to symptom reports.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
cancer, cancer survivors, post treatment cancer patients, cancer treatment, post chemotherapy symptoms, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphoma

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