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Childhood Cancer Symptom Cluster: Leukemia and Health-Related Quality of Life

Cheryl C. Rodgers
Mary C. Hooke
Olga A. Taylor
Kari M. Koerner
Pauline A. Mitby
Ida M. Moore
Michael E. Scheurer
Marilyn J. Hockenberry
Wei Pan
ONF 2019, 46(2), 228-237 DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.228-237

Objectives: To examine the relationship of the Childhood Cancer Symptom Cluster–Leukemia (CCSC-L) with health-related quality of life (HRQOL).

Sample & Setting: 327 children receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia from four pediatric oncology programs across the United States.

Methods & Variables: Participants completed fatigue, sleep disturbance, pain, nausea, and depression symptom questionnaires at four time points; these symptoms comprised the CCSC-L. HRQOL was measured at the start of postinduction therapy and then at the start of maintenance therapy. Relationships between the CCSC-L and HRQOL scores were examined with longitudinal parallel-process modeling.

Results: The mean HRQOL significantly increased over time (p < 0.001). The CCSC-L had a significant negative association with HRQOL scores at the start of postinduction therapy (beta = –0.53, p < 0.005) and the start of maintenance therapy (beta = –0.33, p < 0.015). Participants with more severe symptoms in the CCSC-L over time had significantly lower HRQOL at the start of maintenance therapy (beta = –0.42, p < 0.005).

Implications for Nursing: Nurses are pivotal in providing management strategies to minimize symptom severity that may improve HRQOL.

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