Symptom experience and self-management for multiple co-occurring symptoms in patients with gastric cancer: A qualitative study.
PURPOSE: Patients with gastric cancer experience an increased symptom burden with multiple co-occurring symptoms. Knowledge of patients' symptom experiences and self-management for these symptoms is limited. The purpose of this study was to describe multiple co-occurring symptoms, symptom experiences, and symptom self-management strategies in patients with gastric cancer. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive approach was used for this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten American participants (median age 52.5 years, 50% female, 70% African American). Content analysis was used to explore their symptoms, experiences, and self-management strategies. RESULTS: Four themes were identified: perceptions of multiple co-occurring symptoms, complex and dynamic nature of symptom experiences, living with multiple co-occurring symptoms, and symptom self-management strategies (i.e., medications for symptoms, information seeking from the clinician team, lifestyle modification, psychosocial and spiritual support). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide new insights into how patients with gastric cancer perceive and interpret their multiple co-occurring symptoms, contribute to our understanding of the role that inter-individual variability might play in symptom experiences, and highlight a range of self-management strategies for managing multiple co-occurring symptoms. Oncology nurses need to assess symptoms on an ongoing basis, educate patients about multiple co-occurring symptoms, and develop and test person-centered self-management interventions for these patients to enhance their symptom relief and quality of life.
Lin, Y; Docherty, SL; Porter, LS; Bailey, DE
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