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Symptom Occurrence, Severity, and Self-Care Methods by Ethnicity and Age Group Among Adults With Cancer

Jaimol Sujith Sreedhar
ONF 2021, 48(5), 522-534 DOI: 10.1188/21.ONF.522-534

Objectives: To examine the relationships among cancer therapy–related symptom occurrence and severity, selected cancer-related variables, and demographic variables. Secondary purposes were to examine participants’ reported symptom occurrence and severity by ethnicity and by age group and to identify self-care methods.

Sample & Setting: Convenience sampling was used and included 110 adults receiving cancer treatment from a major hospital in the northeast region of the United States.

Methods & Variables: A descriptive correlational design was used. Study variables were symptom occurrence and severity and selected demographic and cancer-related variables. The Therapy-Related Symptom Checklist was used to measure symptom occurrence and severity, and the Symptom Alleviation: Self-Care Methods tool was used to record self-care strategies.

Results: Significant relationships were found between symptom occurrence and severity and gender, economic status, and disease stage. Feeling sluggish was the most frequently reported symptom.

Implications for Nursing: Oncology nurses are in an influential position to educate and manage participants’ cancer therapy–related symptoms.

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