Background Patients with gynecologic cancer undergoing chemotherapy experience multiple co-occurring symptoms. Understanding how symptom clusters change over time is essential to the development of interventions that target multiple co-occurring symptoms. Objective The aim of this study was to assess the relative stability of symptom clusters across a chemotherapy cycle in patients with gynecologic cancer. Methods This is a longitudinal, descriptive study. Eligible patients (n = 232) were English-speaking adults (≥18 years old) with gynecologic cancer. Data were collected in the week before patients' second or third cycle of chemotherapy (T1) and at 1 (T2) and 2 (T3) weeks after chemotherapy. Three dimensions of the symptom experience (occurrence, severity, and distress) were assessed using a modified version of the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale. Symptom clusters for each dimension and time point were identified through exploratory factor analysis. Results A 5-factor solution was selected for each exploratory factor analysis. Hormonal, respiratory, and weight change clusters were identified across all dimensions and time points. A psychological symptom cluster was identified at T1 for occurrence and severity and at T2 and T3 for all 3 dimensions. A gastrointestinal symptom cluster was identified at T1 for occurrence and at T2 and T3 for all 3 dimensions. The hormonal, respiratory, psychological, and weight change symptom clusters exhibited common symptoms across dimensions and time points. Conclusions Hormonal, respiratory, weight change, and psychological symptom clusters are relatively stable across a cycle of chemotherapy in patients with gynecologic cancer. Implications for Practice Clinicians need to assess patients for multiple co-occurring symptoms and initiate multimodal interventions.
|State||Published - 1 Jul 2022|
- Exploratory factor analysis
- Ovarian neoplasms
- Symptom clusters
- Uterine neoplasms