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OBJECTIVES: This descriptive correlational study aimed to explore symptom experiences, quality of life (QOL), and the relationship between these variables in adolescents with cancer receiving treatments.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 25 adolescents, recruited from a university hospital, Thailand, diagnosed with various types of cancer; age 10-15 years; having received at least one cycle of chemotherapy. The participants reported their symptom experiences, using MSAS (10-18) and their QOL, using the pediatrics quality of life (PedsQL) 4.0. Descriptive statistics and Pearson’s product-moment correlational coefficient were used to describe the results.
RESULT: Most of the participants were male (68%), with a mean age of 12.74 ± 20.44 years, and were diagnosed with hematological cancers (56%). They experienced a mean of 11.80 ± 5.61 symptoms. Dry mouth was found to be the most common and frequent symptom; swelling at arms or legs was rated as the most severe, and changes in the way food tastes was the most distressing symptom. All dimensions of symptom experiences had significant negative correlations with overall QOL (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Symptom experiences and QOL among adolescent cancer patients after chemotherapy showed specific differences. Therefore, nurses should assess every aspect for both inpatient and outpatient departments, thereby leading to improved QOL.
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