Deborah Watkins Bruner

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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Publications (126)643.02 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite well-documented disparities in cancer pain outcomes among African Americans, surprisingly little research exists on adherence to analgesia for cancer pain in this group. We compared analgesic adherence for cancer-related pain over a 3-month period between African Americans and Whites using Medication Event Monitoring System [MEMS]. Patients (n=207) were recruited from outpatient medical oncology clinics of an academic medical center in Philadelphia [>18 years of age, diagnosed with solid tumors or multiple myeloma, with cancer-related pain, and at least one prescription of oral around-the-clock analgesic (ATC)]. African Americans reported significantly greater cancer pain (P<.001), were less likely than Whites to have a prescription of long acting opioids (P<.001), and more likely to have a negative pain management index (P<.001). There were considerable differences between African Americans and Whites in the overall MEMS dose adherence, i.e., percentage of the total number of prescribed doses that were actually taken (53% vs. 74%, P<.001). On sub-analysis, analgesic adherence rates for African Americans ranged from 34% (for weak opioids) to 63% (for long acting opioids). Unique predictors of analgesic adherence varied by race; income levels, analgesic side-effects, and fear of distracting providers predicted analgesic adherence for African Americans but not for Whites. Despite evidence of disparities in cancer pain outcomes among African Americans, surprisingly little research exists on African Americans' adherence to analgesia for cancer pain. This prospective study employs objective measures to compare adherence to prescribed pain medications between African American and White patients with cancer pain. Copyright © 2015 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2015.05.009 · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Research 05/2015; 75(9 Supplement):PD4-7-PD4-7. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.SABCS14-PD4-7 · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND The authors analyzed a preliminary report of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) among men who received high-dose radiation therapy (RT) on Radiation Therapy Oncology Group study 0126 (a phase 3 dose-escalation trial) with either 3-dimensional conformal RT (3D-CRT) or intensity-modulated RT (IMRT).METHODS Patients in the 3D-CRT group received 55.8 gray (Gy) to the prostate and proximal seminal vesicles and were allowed an optional field reduction; then, they received 23.4 Gy to the prostate only. Patients in the IMRT group received 79.2 Gy to the prostate and proximal seminal vesicles. PROs were assessed at 0 months (baseline), 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months and included bladder and bowel function assessed with the Functional Alterations due to Changes in Elimination (FACE) instrument and erectile function assessed with the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). Analyses included the patients who completed all data at baseline and for at least 1 follow-up assessment, and the results were compared with an imputed data set.RESULTSOf 763 patients who were randomized to the 79.2-Gy arm, 551 patients and 595 patients who responded to the FACE instrument and 505 patients and 577 patients who responded to the IIEF were included in the completed and imputed analyses, respectively. There were no significant differences between modalities for any of the FACE or IIEF subscale scores or total scores at any time point for either the completed data set or the imputed data set.CONCLUSIONS Despite significant reductions in dose and volume to normal structures using IMRT, this robust analysis of 3D-CRT and IMRT demonstrated no difference in patient-reported bowel, bladder, or sexual functions for similar doses delivered to the prostate and proximal seminal vesicles with IMRT compared with 3D-CRT delivered either to the prostate and proximal seminal vesicles or to the prostate alone. Cancer 2015. © 2015 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/cncr.29362 · 4.90 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Sexual Medicine 01/2015; 12:25-25. · 3.15 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Sexual Medicine 01/2015; 12:27-27. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Although fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety are associated with pain in breast cancer patients, it is unknown whether acupuncture can decrease these comorbid symptoms in cancer patients with pain. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on fatigue, sleep, and psychological distress in breast cancer survivors who experience joint pain related to aromatase inhibitors (AIs).METHODS The authors performed a randomized controlled trial of an 8-week course of EA compared with a waitlist control (WLC) group and a sham acupuncture (SA) group in postmenopausal women with breast cancer who self-reported joint pain attributable to AIs. Fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression were measured using the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The effects of EA and SA versus WLC on these outcomes were evaluated using mixed-effects models.RESULTSOf the 67 randomly assigned patients, baseline pain interference was associated with fatigue (Pearson correlation coefficient [r]=0.75; P < .001), sleep disturbance (r=0.38; P=.0026), and depression (r=0.58; P < .001). Compared with the WLC condition, EA produced significant improvements in fatigue (P=.0095), anxiety (P=.044), and depression (P=.015) and a nonsignificant improvement in sleep disturbance (P=.058) during the 12-week intervention and follow-up period. In contrast, SA did not produce significant reductions in fatigue or anxiety symptoms but did produce a significant improvement in depression compared with the WLC condition (P=.0088).CONCLUSIONS Compared with usual care, EA produced significant improvements in fatigue, anxiety, and depression; whereas SA improved only depression in women experiencing AI-related arthralgia. Cancer 2014. © 2014 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 12/2014; 120(23). DOI:10.1002/cncr.28917 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The standard approach for documenting symptomatic adverse events (AEs) in cancer clinical trials involves investigator reporting using the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Because this approach underdetects symptomatic AEs, the NCI issued two contracts to create a patient-reported outcome (PRO) measurement system as a companion to the CTCAE, called the PRO-CTCAE. This Commentary describes development of the PRO-CTCAE by a group of multidisciplinary investigators and patient representatives and provides an overview of qualitative and quantitative studies of its measurement properties. A systematic evaluation of all 790 AEs listed in the CTCAE identified 78 appropriate for patient self-reporting. For each of these, a PRO-CTCAE plain language term in English and one to three items characterizing the frequency, severity, and/or activity interference of the AE were created, rendering a library of 124 PRO-CTCAE items. These items were refined in a cognitive interviewing study among patients on active cancer treatment with diverse educational, racial, and geographic backgrounds. Favorable measurement properties of the items, including construct validity, reliability, responsiveness, and between-mode equivalence, were determined prospectively in a demographically diverse population of patients receiving treatments for many different tumor types. A software platform was built to administer PRO-CTCAE items to clinical trial participants via the internet or telephone interactive voice response and was refined through usability testing. Work is ongoing to translate the PRO-CTCAE into multiple languages and to determine the optimal approach for integrating the PRO-CTCAE into clinical trial workflow and AE analyses. It is envisioned that the PRO-CTCAE will enhance the precision and patient-centeredness of adverse event reporting in cancer clinical research.
    JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 09/2014; 106(9):dju244-dju244. DOI:10.1093/jnci/dju244 · 15.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) is to create efficient, reliable, and valid assessments of adult and child health. The nursing science literature in which PROMIS measures are used is rapidly expanding. Investigators have been encouraged to consider the integration of PROMIS measures into both descriptive studies and clinical trials. Doing this has created opportunities and challenges for investigators. This article highlights three projects to show the perspectives of nurse scientists who incorporated PROMIS measures into their research. The first project describes advantages of PROMIS to allow for comparisons of a study population with a national sample and to compliment legacy measures. The second project examines issues in the translation of tools for region-specific Hispanic populations. The third project provides a perspective on the use of PROMIS measures to capture cancer-related fatigue and to develop new components of a sexual function scale. As indicated by these three examples, nurse scientists can contribute an important role in moving the PROMIS initiative forward. Results from these types of projects also move symptom science forward within a more interdisciplinary approach to common measures of interest.
    Nursing Outlook 09/2014; 62(5):332-338. DOI:10.1016/j.outlook.2014.06.009 · 1.83 Impact Factor
  • JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 08/2014; 312(7):748-9. DOI:10.1001/jama.2014.7923 · 30.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound histogram features in the quantitative assessment of radiation-induced parotid gland injury and to identify potential imaging biomarkers for radiation-induced xerostomia (dry mouth)-the most common and debilitating side effect after head-and-neck radiotherapy (RT).
    Academic Radiology 08/2014; 21(10):1304–1313. DOI:10.1016/j.acra.2014.05.017 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is no consensus as to what symptoms or quality-of-life (QOL) domains should be measured as patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in ovarian cancer clinical trials. A panel of experts convened by the National Cancer Institute reviewed studies published between January 2000 and August 2011. The results were included in and combined with an expert consensus-building process to identify the most salient PROs for ovarian cancer clinical trials. We identified a set of PROs specific to ovarian cancer: abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, fear of recurrence/disease progression, indigestion, sexual dysfunction, vomiting, weight gain, and weight loss. Additional PROs identified in parallel with a group charged with identifying the most important PROs across cancer types were anorexia, cognitive problems, constipation, diarrhea, dyspnea, fatigue, nausea, neuropathy, pain, and insomnia. Physical and emotional domains were considered to be the most salient domains of QOL. Findings of the review and consensus process provide good support for use of these ovarian cancer-specific PROs in ovarian cancer clinical trials.
    JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 07/2014; 106(7). DOI:10.1093/jnci/dju128 · 15.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We identified a standard core set of patient-reported symptoms and health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) domains to be assessed in head and neck (H&N) cancer clinical trials. The core symptom and HRQOL domain scores were used to guide recommendations by a working group of experts as part of a National Cancer Institute Symptom Management and HRQOL Clinical Trials Planning Meeting. A PubMed search was conducted using the search terms of "health-related quality of life" and "head & neck cancer," limited to publications from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2010. Fifty-four articles were used to guide the choice of recommendations. Twenty-nine symptoms and nine domains were identified, from which 12 H&N-specific core symptoms and HRQOL domains were recommended: swallowing, oral pain, skin changes, dry mouth, dental health, opening mouth/trismus, taste, excess/thick mucous/saliva, shoulder disability/motion, voice/hoarseness, social domain, and functional domain. This core set of 12 H&N-specific, patient-reported symptoms and HRQOL domains should be assessed in future H&N cancer clinical trials.
    JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 07/2014; 106(7). DOI:10.1093/jnci/dju127 · 15.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The National Cancer Institute's Symptom Management and Health-Related Quality of Life Steering Committee held a clinical trials planning meeting (September 2011) to identify a core symptom set to be assessed across oncology trials for the purposes of better understanding treatment efficacy and toxicity and to facilitate cross-study comparisons. We report the results of an evidence-synthesis and consensus-building effort that culminated in recommendations for core symptoms to be measured in adult cancer clinical trials that include a patient-reported outcome (PRO).
    JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 07/2014; 106(7). DOI:10.1093/jnci/dju129 · 15.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Xerostomia (dry mouth), secondary to parotid-gland injury, is a distressing side-effect in head-and-neck radiotherapy (RT). This study&apos;s purpose is to develop a novel ultrasound technique to quantitatively evaluate post-RT parotid-gland injury.
    Medical Physics 06/2014; 41(6):571-571. DOI:10.1118/1.4889673 · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The large placebo effect observed in prior acupuncture trials presents a substantial challenge for interpretation of the efficacy of acupuncture. We sought to evaluate the relationship between response expectancy, a key component of the placebo effect over time, and treatment outcome in real and sham electroacupuncture (EA). We analyzed data from a randomized controlled trial of EA and sham acupuncture (SA) for joint pain attributable to aromatase inhibitors among women with breast cancer. Responders were identified using the Patient Global Impression of Change instrument at Week 8 (end of intervention). The Acupuncture Expectancy Scale (AES) was used to measure expectancy four times during the trial. Linear mixed-effects models were used to evaluate the association between expectancy and treatment response. In the wait list control group, AES remained unchanged over treatment. In the SA group, Baseline AES was significantly higher in responders than nonresponders (15.5 vs 12.1, P = .005) and AES did not change over time. In the EA group, Baseline AES scores did not differ between responders and nonresponders (14.8 vs 15.3, P = .64); however, AES increased in responders compared with nonresponders over time (P = .004 for responder and time interaction term) with significant difference at the end of trial for responders versus nonresponders (16.2 vs 11.7, P = .004). Baseline higher response expectancy predicts treatment response in SA, but not in EA. Divergent mechanisms may exist for how SA and EA influence pain outcomes, and patients with low expectancy may do better with EA than SA. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:
    Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) 05/2014; 20(5):A9. DOI:10.1089/acm.2014.5020.abstract · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tadalafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatment, but its role as a preventive agent is undefined. To determine primarily whether tadalafil preserved erectile function in men treated with radiotherapy for prostate cancer, and secondarily to determine whether participant- or partner-reported overall sexual function and sexual and marital satisfaction were affected. Stratified, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group study with 1:1 randomization at 76 community-based and tertiary medical sites in the United States and Canada. Two hundred forty-two participants with intact erectile function scheduled to receive radiotherapy for prostate cancer were recruited between November 2009 and February 2012 with follow-up through March 2013. One hundred twenty-one participants were assigned 5 mg of tadalafil daily and 121 were assigned placebo for 24 weeks starting with external radiotherapy (63%) or brachytherapy (37%). Participant-reported International Index of Erectile Function response before radiotherapy and at weeks 2 and 4, between weeks 20 and 24, between weeks 28 and 30, and 1 year thereafter. Participants and partners could respond also to the Sexual Adjustment Questionnaire and to the Locke Marital Adjustment Test before radiotherapy, between weeks 20 and 24 and weeks 28 and 30, and at 1 year. Primary outcome was off-drug spontaneous erectile function 28 to 30 weeks after radiotherapy started. Secondary end points were spontaneous erection at 1 year; overall sexual function and satisfaction; marital adjustment; and partner-reported satisfaction and marital adjustment at 28 to 30 weeks and 1 year, predictors of tadalafil response; and adverse events. Among 221 evaluable participants, 80 (79%; 95% CI, 70%-88%) assigned to receive tadalafil retained erectile function between weeks 28 and 30 compared with 61 (74%; 95% CI, 63%-85%) assigned to receive placebo (P = .49); an absolute difference of 5% (95% CI, -9% to 19%). A significant difference was also not observed at 1 year (72%; 95% CI, 60%-84% vs 71%; 95% CI, 59%-84%; P = .93). Tadalafil was not associated with significantly improved overall sexual function or satisfaction; a significant difference was not observed in any domain subscale. Partners of men assigned tadalafil noted no significant effect on sexual satisfaction, and marital adjustment was not significantly improved in participants or partners. Among men undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer, daily use of tadalafil compared with placebo did not result in improved erectile function. These findings do not support daily use of tadalafil to prevent erectile dysfunction in these patients. Identifier: NCT00931528.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 04/2014; 311(13):1300-7. DOI:10.1001/jama.2014.2626 · 30.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemoradiotherapy has become the standard of care for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; however, those patients often experience multiple treatment-related symptoms or symptom clusters. Two symptom clusters have been identified for this population. Little is known about the risk factors of these symptom clusters. Subjects comprised 684 patients who were treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy in a phase 3 randomized clinical trial. This trial compared standard fractionation radiotherapy to accelerated fractionation radiotherapy. Symptom clusters were evaluated at the end of the first and the second cycle of chemotherapy, and 3 months after the start of radiotherapy. Mixed-effect modeling was used to observe risk factors for symptom clusters. Race and education were independent predictors for the head and neck cluster, whereas sex and history of tobacco use were independent predictors for the gastrointestinal cluster. Primary cancer site was only significant for the head and neck cluster when other factors were not controlled: patients with oropharyngeal cancer had more severe symptoms in the head and neck clusters than did patients with laryngeal cancer. In addition, patients receiving accelerated fractionation radiotherapy experienced more symptoms of radiomucositis, pain, and nausea at 3 months after the start of radiotherapy than those receiving standard fractionation radiotherapy. Demographic characteristics were more predictive to symptom clusters, whereas clinical characteristics, such as cancer site and treatment arms, were more significant for individual symptoms. Knowing the risk factors will enhance the capability of clinicians to evaluate patients' risk of severe symptom clusters and to personalize management strategies. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 03/2014; 120(6). DOI:10.1002/cncr.28500 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of GM-CSF in reducing mucosal injury and symptom burden from curative radiotherapy for head and neck (H&N) cancer. Eligible patients with H&N cancer receiving radiation encompassing ≥50 % of the oral cavity or oropharynx received subcutaneous GM-CSF or placebo. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the RTOG-modified University of Washington H&N Symptom Questionnaire at baseline 4, 13, 26, and 48 weeks from radiation initiation. Of 125 eligible patients, 114 were evaluable for QoL (58 GM-CSF, 56 placebo). Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, and baseline symptom scores were well balanced between the treatment arms. At the end of the acute period (13 weeks), patients in both arms reported negative change in total symptom score indicating increase in symptom burden relative to baseline (mean -18.4 GM-CSF, -20.8 placebo). There was no difference in change in total symptom score (p > 0.05) or change in mucous, pain, eating, or activity domain scores (p > 0.01) between patients in the GM-CSF and placebo arms. Analysis limited to patients treated per protocol or with an acceptable protocol deviation also found no difference in change in total symptom score (p > 0.05) or change in domain scores (p > 0.01) between treatment arms. Provider assessment of acute mucositis during treatment did not correlate with patient-reported mucous domain and total symptom scores (p > 0.05). GM-CSF administered concurrently during head and neck radiation does not appear to significantly improve patient-reported QoL symptom burden.
    Quality of Life Research 02/2014; 23(6). DOI:10.1007/s11136-014-0628-5 · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, we address statistical techniques appropriate for examining longitudinal changes in cancer symptom clusters. When the cluster structure is not pre-determined, researchers may examine symptom clusters either at each time point or use composite scores to examine the symptom clusters across time points. When the cluster structures are pre-determined, the statistical techniques depend on the research assumptions or purposes. Multilevel modeling, generalized estimating equations, latent growth curve modeling, and multivariate repeated-measure analysis of variance are good choices for exploring whole cluster changes over time. Alternately, confirmatory factor analysis and path analysis are appropriate techniques for examining changes in symptom relationships within clusters over time. Each technique is described, with examples and strengths and weaknesses. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Research in Nursing & Health 02/2014; 37(1):65-74. DOI:10.1002/nur.21572 · 1.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study aims to investigate whether Nakagami parameters-estimated from the statistical distribution of the backscattered ultrasound radio-frequency (RF) signals-could provide a means for quantitative characterization of parotid-gland injury resulting from head-and-neck radiotherapy. A preliminary clinical study was conducted with 12 postradiotherapy patients and 12 healthy volunteers. Each participant underwent one ultrasound study in which ultrasound scans were performed in the longitudinal, i.e., vertical orientation on the bilateral parotids. For the 12 patients, the mean radiation dose to the parotid glands was 37.7 ± 9.5 Gy, and the mean follow-up time was 16.3 ± 4.8 months. All enrolled patients experienced grade 1 or 2 late salivary-gland toxicity (RTOG/EORTC morbidity scale). The normal parotid glands served as the control group. The Nakagami-scaling and Nakagami-shape parameters were computed from the RF data to quantify radiation-induced parotid-gland changes. Significant differences in Nakagami parameters were observed between the normal and postradiotherapy parotid glands. Compared with the control group, the Nakagami-scaling parameter of the postradiotherapy group decreased by 25.8% (p < 0.001), and the Nakagami-shape parameter decreased by 31.3% (p < 0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.85 for the Nakagami-scaling parameter and was 0.95 for the Nakagami-shape parameter, which further demonstrated the diagnostic efficiency of the Nakagami parameters. Nakagami parameters could be used to quantitatively measure parotid-gland injury following head-and-neck radiotherapy. Moreover, the clinical feasibility was demonstrated and this study provides meaningful preliminary data for future clinical investigation.
    Medical Physics 02/2014; 41(2):022903. DOI:10.1118/1.4862507 · 3.01 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
643.02 Total Impact Points


  • 2012–2015
    • Emory University
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2014
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • Division of Radiation Oncology
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2008–2013
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • School of Nursing
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2007–2011
    • William Penn University
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • The Philadelphia Center
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1990–2009
    • Fox Chase Cancer Center
      • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2000
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      Manhattan, New York, United States