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Patient-Reported Symptoms and Quality of Life in Adults With Acute Leukemia: A Systematic Review

Ashley Leak Bryant
AnnMarie Lee Walton
Julia Shaw-Kokot
Deborah K. Mayer
Bryce B. Reeve
ONF 2015, 42(2), E91-E101 DOI: 10.1188/15.ONF.E91-E101

Purpose/Objectives: Systematically summarize findings from research conducted on adult acute leukemia survivors as they relate to symptoms and quality of life (QOL).

Data Sources: Systematic review of the literature from 1990–2013 found in the PubMed, PsycINFO®, EMBASE, and CINAHL® databases, as well as manual searches.

Data Synthesis: The review identified 16 quantitative studies and 1 qualitative study published from 1990–2013 that used a self-reported QOL or symptom questionnaire. Fatigue was the most commonly assessed and reported symptom, followed by depression.

Conclusions: Acute leukemia and its treatment have a significant impact in all QOL domains. Future studies should include longitudinal research, more than one recruitment site, increased minority representation, and home-based exercise interventions as ways to improve all domains of QOL.

Implications for Nursing: This review increases awareness of commonly reported symptoms faced by adults with acute leukemia. Oncology nurses are central in monitoring and reporting symptoms to the interdisciplinary team that may contribute to changes in function, with the overall goal of optimizing QOL over time.

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