Purpose/Objectives: To estimate and compare responsiveness of standardized self-reported measures of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSSs) and physical functioning (PF) during treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AIs).
Design: Prospective, longitudinal study.
Setting: Park Nicollet Institute and North Memorial Cancer Center, both in Minneapolis, MN.
Sample: 122 postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
Methods: MSSs and PF were assessed before starting AIs and at one, three, and six months using six self-reported MSSs measures and two PF tests.
Main Research Variables: MSSs and PF changes from baseline to six months.
Findings: Using the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial-Musculoskeletal Symptom (BCPT-MS) subscale, 54% of participants reported MSSs by six months. Scores from the BCPT-MS subscale and the physical function subscales of the Australian/Canadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index (AUSCAN) and Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) were most responsive to changes over six months.
Conclusions: BCPT-MS, AUSCAN, and WOMAC were the most responsive instruments for measuring AI-associated MSSs.
Implications for Nursing: Assessment and management of MSSs are important aspects of oncology care because MSSs can affect functional ability and AI adherence.
Knowledge Translation: The three measures with the greatest sensitivity were the BCPT-MS, AUSCAN, and WOMAC questionnaires. These measures will be useful when conducting research on change in MSSs associated with AI treatment in women with breast cancer.