Symptom Clusters in Lymphoma Survivors Before, During, and After Chemotherapy: A Prospective Study 

Chih-Jung Wu

Li-Yuan Bai

Yu-Chi Chen

Ching-Feng Wu

Kuan-Chia Lin

Ya-Jung Wang
symptom cluster, fatigue, disturbed sleep, numbness, lymphoma survivor

ONF 2023, 50(3), 361-371. DOI: 10.1188/23.ONF.361-371

Objectives: To explore symptom clusters (SCs) in lymphoma survivors before, during, and after chemotherapy. 

Sample & Setting: 61 lymphoma survivors from a medical center in central Taiwan were enrolled in the study. 

Methods & Variables: A prospective observational study design was adopted. The MD Anderson Symptom Inventory was used to measure symptoms. The 13 symptoms assessed by the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory were evaluated after diagnosis and before chemotherapy (T1), after the fourth cycle of chemotherapy (T2), and after completion of chemotherapy (T3). Data were analyzed using mean, frequency, and latent profile analysis. 

Results: Three SCs were identified at T1, four at T2, and three at T3. Fatigue was the predominant symptom in each SC for the participants over time. Fatigue, disturbed sleep, and numbness constituted an SC at T2 and T3. An SC consisting of multiple psychological symptoms was found only at T1.

Implications for Nursing: This study describes methods for grouping SCs. An SC of fatigue, disturbed sleep, and numbness was identified at T2 and T3. By familiarizing themselves with this SC, clinicians can be attentive to patients’ concurrent symptoms and implement early prevention measures and timely symptom management.

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