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A Comparison of the Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms and the Conceptual Model of Chemotherapy-Related Changes in Cognitive Function

Jamie S. Myers
ONF 2009, 36(1), E1-E10 DOI: 10.1188/09.ONF.E1-E10

Purpose/Objectives: To explore the use of the Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms (TUS) as a model for describing the symptom experience related to the cognitive impairment associated with standard-dose chemotherapy and compare and contrast that use of the TUS with the Conceptual Model of Chemotherapy-Related Changes in Cognitive Function.

Data Sources: PubMed database.

Data Synthesis: Retrospective and prospective clinical trials have substantiated the incidence of mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Patients have reported a significant effect on quality of life. Associated factors may include age, anemia, fatigue, depression, anxiety, hormone levels, cytokine release, and genetic makeup. Establishing the appropriateness of a working model to describe the relationships would provide additional structure and focus for empirical research.

Conclusions: Both models have utility for describing the relationships of factors associated with chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment.

Implications for Nursing: Blending of the TUS and the Conceptual Model of Chemotherapy-Related Changes in Cognitive Function may provide an enhanced framework for further research about the physiologic and psychological aspects of chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment.

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