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The aims of the study were to evaluate patients with solid cancer who received chemotherapy using symptom management strategies (after being educated about and informed on such strategies), and to determine parameters that influenced patients in applying symptom management strategies during chemotherapy treatment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This was a prospective study conducted in patients with solid cancer whom were admitted for the first chemotherapy at either Wattanosoth Hospital, Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, Phyathai2 Hospital, Samitivej Sriracha Hospital or Chonburi Hospital. The patients were given information regarding the side effects of chemotherapy and were given an outline of symptom management strategies by nurses. The extent of the severity of side effects of chemotherapy and the management of symptoms were assessed using both the therapy-related symptom checklist (TRSC) and the self-care method (SCM). RESULTS:
One hundred and forty nine patients with solid cancer who received the first chemotherapy were enrolled in the study. The 5 commonest side effects of chemotherapy included: hair loss (81.21%), change of taste perception (79.19%), skin change (75.17%), loss of appetite (74.50%), and difficulty sleeping (73.15%). The most common symptom management strategies used were “taking suggested medication” (27.15%), followed by “changing food and lifestyle choices” (26.62%). The patients’ level of education and access to data resources on the management of side effects were independent factors that influenced patients in applying symptom management strategies.
Knowledge of the side effects of chemotherapy and self-care management is essential for patients with solid cancer who are receiving chemotherapy. A symptom management strategy is not only there to ameliorate a patient’s affliction but also to optimize their quality of life during the period of chemotherapy course
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