Scientific article

Symptom assessment in elderly cancer patients receiving palliative care

Published inCritical reviews in oncology/hematology, vol. 47, no. 3, p. 281-286
Publication date2003

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to examine the concordance of symptom assessment among the multiple raters in French-speaking elderly patients with an advanced cancer benefiting from palliative care. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study was conducted in a geriatric hospital with palliative care specificity. During 6 months, patient, nurse and physician completed the Edmonton symptom assessment system on two consecutive days. RESULTS: 42 patients with an advanced oncological disease were included. Mean age was 72+/-9.04 (range 52-88) and 23 were females. Mean mini mental status examination (MMSE) was 27.5+/-1.6. First assessment was completed at a median of day 8 after admission. Nurses, physicians and patients assessments were reproducible between days 1 and 2 (P>0.05). Pearson correlation coefficient significantly associated nurse assessment with patient assessment for pain, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, appetite and wellbeing (P<0.05). Physician assessment was associated with patient assessment for pain, depression, drowsiness, appetite, wellbeing and shortness of breath (P<0.05). However, regression analysis looking for patient score from both physicians and nurses scores weakly correlated all these factors (R2<0.6), except for appetite (R2 for day 1/day 2: 0.79/0.64). CONCLUSIONS: French-speaking elderly cancer patients without cognitive failure and in stable general condition are consistent in their symptom assessment, and they have to be considered as the gold standard. Nevertheless, interdisciplinary assessment is probably a valid surrogate to self-assessment by the patient but only when the latter is truly impossible.

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comparative Study
  • Female
  • *Geriatric Assessment
  • Human
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms/*diagnosis/therapy
  • Nursing Assessment
  • *Palliative Care
  • Physicians
  • Quality of Life
  • Questionnaires
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Assessment (Psychology)
Citation (ISO format)
PAUTEX, Sophie Marie et al. Symptom assessment in elderly cancer patients receiving palliative care. In: Critical reviews in oncology/hematology, 2003, vol. 47, n° 3, p. 281–286.
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal1040-8428

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