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: Despite knowing that pediatric cancer patients experience multiple concurrent symptoms, most research focuses on individual symptoms. This study is a secondary data analysis from previous research evaluating symptom clusters and carnitine plasma levels in 67 children and adolescents aged between 7 and 18 years, before and after receiving ifosfamide, doxorubicin, or cisplatin chemotherapy. In preparation for cluster analysis, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, depression, and performance status symptoms were rated in categories of none, mild, moderate, or severe. A conceptual approach was used to evaluate the identification of unique patterns of symptoms that cluster as well as what subgroup members of pediatric oncology patients assemble together. Comparison of symptoms is made with the recent literature on sickness behavior symptoms. The hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis was used to identify and classify variables into groups based on similarities they possess. This cluster analysis increases awareness of sickness behavior symptoms, patterns, interaction, and synergy. Increasing knowledge of the complex symptom experiences of pediatric oncology patients provides the scientific basis for new directions in symptom intervention.Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing 09/2011; 28(5):263-72. · 0.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patients with cancer experience multiple symptoms that frequently appear in groups or clusters. We conducted a comprehensive clinical review of cancer symptom cluster studies to identify common symptom clusters (SC), explore their clinical relevance, and examine their research importance. Published studies and review articles on cancer SC were obtained through a literature search. We identified 65 reports. These varied in assessment instruments, outcomes, design, population characteristics, and study methods. Two main approaches to symptom cluster identification were found: clinical and statistical. Clinically determined SC were based upon observations of symptom co-occurrence, associations, or interrelations. These included fatigue-pain, fatigue-insomnia, fatigue-insomnia-pain, depression-fatigue, and depression-pain. They were analyzed by multivariate analysis. They had low to moderate statistical correlations. Disease- or treatment-related SC were influenced by primary cancer site, disease stage, or antitumor treatment. SC determined by statistical analysis were identified by factor and cluster analysis through nonrandom symptom distribution. Nausea-vomiting, anxiety-depression, fatigue-drowsiness, and pain-constipation consistently clustered by either or both of these statistical methods. The individual symptoms of pain, insomnia, and fatigue often appeared in different clusters. A consensus about standard criteria and methodological techniques for cluster analysis should be established. Several important cancer SC have been identified. Nausea-vomiting, anxiety-depression, and dyspnea-cough clusters were consistently reported. The techniques of symptom cluster identification remain a research tool, but one with considerable potential clinical importance. Further research should validate our analytical techniques, and expand our knowledge about SC and their clinical importance.Journal of palliative medicine 08/2011; 14(10):1149-66. · 1.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) aims to develop patient-reported outcome (PROs) instruments for use in clinical research. The PROMIS pediatrics (ages 8-17) project focuses on the development of PROs across several health domains (physical function, pain, fatigue, emotional distress, social role relationships, and asthma symptoms). The objective of the present study was to report on the psychometric properties of the PROMIS Pediatric Anger Scale. Participants (n = 759) were recruited from public school settings, hospital-based outpatient, and subspecialty pediatrics clinics. The anger items (k = 10) were administered on one test form. A hierarchical confirmatory factor analytic model (CFA) was conducted to evaluate scale dimensionality and local dependence. Item response theory (IRT) analyses were then used to finalize the item scale and short form. CFA confirmed that the anger items are representative of a unidimensional scale, and items with local dependence were removed, resulting in a six-item short form. The IRT-scaled scores from summed scores and each score's conditional standard error were calculated for the new six-item PROMIS Pediatric Anger Scale. This study provides initial calibrations of the anger items and creates the PROMIS Pediatric Anger Scale, version 1.0.Quality of Life Research 07/2011; 21(4):697-706. · 2.86 Impact Factor