E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Symptom clusters in cancer patients receiving palliative care  (#581)

Neşe Uysal 1 , Gulçin Şenel 2 , Şerife Karaca 2 , Nihal Kadıoğulları 2 , Nesteren Koçak 2 , Gonca Oğuz 2
  1. Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
  2. Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Oncology Training and Research Hospital, Palliative Care Unit, Ankara, Turkey


 It is reported that the understanding of the relation of symptoms observed in cancer patients contributes to symptom control and an improvement in quality of life. 


 The purpose of this study is to determine the symptom clusters of inpatients at the Palliative Care Clinic.


 A total of 170 inpatients at the Palliative Care Clinic who are aged 18 and older, provided consent for the study, and were conscious were included in the study. Data was collected in the study utilizing the Introductory Characteristics Questionnaire and the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale. In order to compose symptom clusters, the hierarchical clustering analysis was utilized. Symptoms with prevalence under 20% were not included in the clustering analysis.


 The most frequent symptoms experienced by patients in the past week were determined as 95% lack of energy, 91% weight loss, 89% lack of appetite, 88% pain, 88% feeling sad, 83% feeling angry. The symptoms felt by almost constantly by patients in the past week were determined to be feeling sad(59.1%), lack of energy (56.1%), and lack of appetite (49.3%).

The clusters were determined as follows: 1st Cluster: feeling bloated,  problems with urination, diarrhea, itching, mouth sores, hair loss, swelling of arm or legs hand, changes in skin, 2nd Cluster: nausea, vomiting, 3rd Cluster: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, change in the way food tastes, 4th Cluster: feeling drowsy, numbness in hands and feet, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, constipation, I don’t look like myself 5th Cluster: pain, feeling nervous, dry mouth, worring, feeling ırritable, weight loss. 

Conclusions:According to the results of this study conducted with patients receiving palliative support, it is considered that more effective symptom management can be ensured by expanding the planned treatment and care in a manner covering all symptoms and decreasing the number of drugs used.