Primary Brain Tumors in Thais: Symptom Experience and Predicting Factors

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Natthacha Chiannilkulchai
Orapan Thosingha
Usavadee Asdornwised
Prasert Sarnvivad
Chukiat Viwatwongkasem


            This longitudinal repeated-measure study aimed to evaluate the occurrence, severity, and interference of the common symptoms and their predicting factors of Thais with primary brain tumors before, during, and at the end of radiotherapy. One hundred and sixteen adult and older participants were recruited from three hospitals residing in the metropolitan area of Bangkok. The measures used were a demographic and medical record form, the Mini-Mental State Examination and the M.D Anderson Symptom Inventory-Brain Tumor.
             Results revealed that the most common symptoms found in various occurrence and severity dimensions were: fatigue, drowsiness, sleep disturbances, difficulty remembering, and change in appearance. Fatigue and sleep disturbance were the most common symptoms occurring and their severity existed from the beginning to end of radiotherapy. The type of radiotherapy predicted the occurrence and the severity of fatigue, sleep disturbance, difficulty remembering, change in appearance, and feeling upset. Tumor laterality predicted the severity of fatigue, difficulty remembering, change in appearance, pain, and feeling upset, whereas, tumor location predicted only the severity of drowsiness, difficulty remembering and visual impairment. Tumor type predicted the severity of most common symptoms. It is recommended that nurses should be aware of these symptoms in order to facilitate patients to obtain smooth transition during radiotherapy. Nurses who work in radiotherapy clinics and in wards with patients with brain tumours receiving this treatment, should be trained and encouraged to use the scales to assess patients’ symptoms. A nursing practice guideline needs to be developed to care for patients receiving radiotherapy, emphasizing symptom assessment and management, and follow up care as well as evaluating patients’ clinical outcomes.

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Chiannilkulchai N, Thosingha O, Asdornwised U, Sarnvivad P, Viwatwongkasem C. Primary Brain Tumors in Thais: Symptom Experience and Predicting Factors. PRIJNR [Internet]. 2016 Oct. 31 [cited 2022 Oct. 5];20(4):275-92. Available from:
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