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Symptom Prevalence and Physiologic Biomarkers Among Adolescents Using a Mobile Phone Intervention Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Cheryl C. Rodgers
Robert Krance
Richard L. Street
Marilyn J. Hockenberry
ONF 2014, 41(3), 229-236 DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.229-236

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.

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