For a study, researchers sought to identify subgroups of patients with distinct symptom profiles based on their experiences with a pre-specified symptom cluster (i.e., pain, fatigue, depression, sleep disturbance), as well as to identify demographic, clinical, and symptom characteristics, as well as QOL outcomes, associated with each distinct profile.
Patients (n=1,340) with breast, lung, gastrointestinal, and gynecologic malignancies were recruited from outpatient clinics during their first or second chemotherapy cycle. They completed valid and reliable pain, tiredness, and sleep disruption assessments. Depression and QOL before their second chemotherapy dosage The patient groupings were identified using latent class profile analysis. The profiles’ differences were assessed using parametric and non-parametric tests.
Three different profiles (Low (44.0%), Moderate (45.1%), and High) were discovered (10.8%). When compared to the Lower and Middle classes, the Moderate and Upper classes were younger and more likely to be female. In comparison to the other two groups, the High class was less likely to be married/partnered and worked, had a lower income and childcare obligations, had a poorer functional status, a higher BMI, and exercised less. Differences in subscale and overall scores followed the same trend for both QOL measures (Low>Moderate>High).
Over 55% of chemotherapy patients experienced a moderate to high symptom load due to these four prevalent co-occurring symptoms. Therefore, multimodal therapies are required to reduce symptom burden and enhance QOL results in these individuals.