Patterns of Symptoms and Functional Impairments in Children with Cancer
Children with cancer experience multiple symptoms due to their disease and as a result of treatment. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility and potential utility of using latent profile analysis (LPA), a type of cluster analysis, in children with cancer to identify groups of patients who experience similar levels of symptom severity and impairment of physical function.ProcedureWe analyzed patient-reported symptom and functional data previously collected using the Pediatric Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). LPA was used to identify and characterize groups of patients who reported similar levels of symptom severity and functional impairment. We then used the multinomial logit model to examine demographic and disease characteristics associated with symptom/function profile membership.ResultsThe analysis included 200 patients in treatment or in survivorship. We identified four symptom/function profiles; children currently receiving cancer treatment and those with at least one other medical problem were more likely to be members of the profile with the highest levels of symptom severity and functional impairment. Gender, age, race/ethnicity, and tumor type were not associated with profile membership.ConclusionsLPA is a cluster research methodology that provides clinically useful results in pediatric oncology patients. Future studies of children with cancer using LPA could potentially lead to development of clinical scoring systems that predict patients' risk of developing more severe symptoms and functional impairments, allowing clinicians, patients, and parents to better anticipate and prevent the multiple symptoms that occur during and after treatment for childhood cancer. Pediatr Blood Cancer © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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ABSTRACT: Approximately 43% of children in the United States (32 million) are currently living with at least 1 of 20 common chronic childhood illnesses. The most common chronic childhood illnesses are asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, obesity, malnutrition, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, consequences of low birthweight, and mental illness. For all chronically ill pediatric populations, the outcome of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is particularly important because many of these children have not and will not be cured, and will continue to manage their chronic illness into adulthood. Advances in biomedical science and technology continue to improve efficacy of treatments and care for chronically ill children, adolescents, and their families, which highlight the importance measurement of HRQOL as a treatment and health status outcome. The construct of HRQOL is subjective, multidimensional, dynamic, and unique to each individual. It includes aspects of physical, psychological, social function and goal attainment. Outcomes of HRQOL now include the financial implications for these children, their families, as well as financial and organizational consequences for healthcare planning and delivery of services.This article reviews the importance of HRQOL as a health outcome for chronically ill children. A historical overview and synthesis of the conceptualization and measurement of HRQOL for the chronically ill pediatric population is provided. Current research investigations that have measured health outcomes using individual scales tailored to children's specific symptoms health outcomes, such as PROMIS®-Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System-are reviewed. The clinical applications of HRQOL outcomes research include facilitation of patient-healthcare provider communication, improved patient satisfaction, identification of hidden morbidities, a positive impact on clinical decision making, and improvement of patient outcomes over time.MCN The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing 10/2014; 40(1). DOI:10.1097/NMC.0000000000000090 · 0.90 Impact Factor