, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 151-159

Longitudinal screening and management of fatigue, pain, and emotional distress associated with cancer therapy

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Abstract

Goals of work

Fatigue, pain, and emotional distress are common symptoms among patients with cancer. We sought to learn about patient perceptions of these symptoms and their treatment.

Materials and methods

At a baseline assessment and two monthly follow-up assessments, we asked a diverse sample of patients with solid tumor or lymphoma (N = 99) about their fatigue, pain and distress, their treatment for these symptoms, and their satisfaction with treatment via standardized questionnaires and semistructured interviews.

Main results

In this observational study, patients reported fatigue, pain, emotional distress, and general quality of life at expected levels. Across all assessments, at least half of our sample experienced at least some fatigue, pain, or distress. On the whole, patients and providers do communicate about these concerns, and at least 75% of patients found these discussions helpful when they occurred.

Conclusions

Improved symptom identification and communication may optimize the detection of those at risk of morbidity and decreased quality of life because of excess symptom burden.