Transitions in symptom cluster subgroups among men undergoing prostate cancer radiation therapy - Abstract

BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer worldwide and in the United States.

However, little information has been reported on the symptoms of men over time who receive radiation therapy.

OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were to identify subgroups of men at pre- and post-radiation therapy on general and treatment-related symptoms and to determine transitions in subgroup membership over time.

METHODS: Men (n = 84) receiving radiation therapy completed questionnaires on fatigue, insomnia, pain, depression, anxiety, and sexual, urinary, and bowel problems at pretreatment and post-treatment. Latent class analysis identified subgroups. One-way analyses of variance determined subgroups differed on symptoms, participant characteristics, and quality of life. Latent transition analysis examined subgroup transitions over time.

RESULTS: At pretreatment, 4 subgroups were identified: resilient group, with little to no symptom reporting; adjusted group, with moderately high treatment-related symptoms, low insomnia, depression, and anxiety; distressed group, consistently high on most symptoms; and emerging group, with moderately high fatigue, depression, and anxiety with few treatment-related symptoms. At post-treatment, similar results were seen in groups to those at pretreatment: resilient, adjusted. and distressed groups with an impacted group having high pain, insomnia, depression, and urinary and bowel symptoms. Quality of life and participant characteristics further distinguished groups at pretreatment and post-treatment. Income level predicted a transition in group membership.

CONCLUSIONS: Men can be classified into distinctly different subgroups over time.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Assessment and intervention with men in subgroups such as distressed and emerging before and during treatment may lessen potential for remaining distressed or moving into impacted group where symptom severity is high at post-treatment. Interventions to reduce multiple symptoms are vitally needed.

Written by:
Dirksen SR, Belyea MJ, Wong W, Epstein DR.   Are you the author?
College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix; Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale; Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Phoenix, Arizona.

Reference: Cancer Nurs. 2015 Feb 27. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000236


PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25730597

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