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Experience of Newly Diagnosed Patients With Sarcoma Receiving Chemotherapy

Clara Granda-Cameron
Alexandra L. Hanlon
Mary Pat Lynch
Arlene Houldin
ONF 2011, 38(2), 160-169 DOI: 10.1188/11.ONF.160-169

Purpose/Objectives: To examine symptom distress and quality of life (QOL) in newly diagnosed patients with sarcoma receiving chemotherapy.

Design: Pilot study; descriptive, quantitative.

Setting: Urban community cancer center in the northeastern United States.

Sample: 11 newly diagnosed patients with sarcoma.

Methods: Participants completed the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General at baseline and on days 1, 15, and 21 of their chemotherapy treatment.

Main Research Variables: Symptom distress and QOL.

Findings: Fatigue was the most prevalent and pervasive symptom. Anxiety, well-being, lack of appetite, drowsiness, and depression were the most commonly reported symptoms during chemotherapy. QOL was negatively affected. The lowest mean score reported was for functional well-being. Outcome profiles for symptom distress increased over time, whereas QOL profiles decreased over time. Exploratory analyses of age, race, sex, and diagnosis group suggested differences that warrant further study.

Conclusions: Overall, increasing symptom distress and reduced QOL over time were reported by patients with sarcoma during chemotherapy. Exploratory analysis by demographic variables and treatment group suggested the need for further research of predictors for symptom distress and QOL.

Implications for Nursing: Clinical and research implications included the need for better understanding about symptom distress and QOL predictors in patients with sarcoma, as well as the evaluation of interventions directed to address this population's specific needs.

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