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01.06.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2015

Supportive Care in Cancer 6/2015

Symptom burden and medication use in adult sarcoma patients

Zeitschrift:
Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 6/2015
Autoren:
Alexandre Chan, Eunice Lim, Terence Ng, Vivianne Shih, Richard Quek, Yin Ting Cheung

Abstract

Purpose

Limited data are available on how symptom burden affects health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with sarcoma. This study aims to describe the symptom burden, HRQoL, and medication use in adult sarcoma patients.

Methods

A single-center, cross-sectional study was conducted, and 79 patients were evaluated using three tools: the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy scale—General (FACT-G). Patients’ demographic and clinical information, medication history, and use of concomitant medications were recorded. The proportion of patients with clinically significant RSCL score for a particular symptom was compared with the percentage of patients receiving medication for that symptom.

Results

The mean age was 57.3 ± 15.2 years, with majority of the patients diagnosed with stromal tumor (46.8 %), leiomyosarcoma (15.2 %), and liposarcoma (10.1 %). The most prevalent physical symptoms experienced were tiredness (2.38 ± 1.00), lack of energy (2.04 ± 1.02), and difficulty sleeping (2.00 ± 1.15). The most common psychological symptoms experienced were irritability (1.92 ± 1.01), worrying (1.86 ± 0.90), and anxiety (1.68 ± 0.74). Few (6.3 %) patients received hypnotics while 33.0 % of patients reported difficulty sleeping. A proportion of patients (27.9 %) reported experiencing lack of appetite with only 1.3 % received appetite stimulants.

Conclusion

Adult sarcoma patients experience significant physiological and psychological symptom burden, which has a strong negative impact on HRQoL, with a number of physiological symptoms undertreated with pharmacotherapy.

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