Purpose/Objectives: To examine symptom reports and physiologic parameters in adolescents using the Eating After Transplant (EAT!) intervention during recovery after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
Design: Repeated measures design.
Setting: HSCT service at a pediatric teaching institution in the southern United States.
Sample: 16 adolescents recovering from a first-time allogeneic HSCT.
Methods: Use of EAT! was monitored electronically, symptom reports were obtained from a questionnaire, and physiologic parameters were obtained from the medical record at HSCT hospital discharge and 20, 40, and 60 days postdischarge.
Main Research Variables: EAT! use, symptom prevalence, symptom-related distress, and physiologic parameters including weight, body mass index (BMI), pre-albumin, and albumin.
Findings: Symptom prevalence was highest at hospital discharge and steadily declined; however, mean symptom distress scores remained stable. Mean weight and BMI significantly declined during the first 60 days postdischarge; pre-albumin and albumin markers were unchanged. No correlation was noted among use of EAT! and any research variables.
Conclusions: The most frequent symptoms were not always the most distressing symptoms. Weight and BMI significantly declined during HSCT recovery.
Implications for Nursing: Nurses should assess symptom frequency and distress to fully understand patients' symptom experiences. Nurses should monitor weight and BMI throughout HSCT recovery.