Symptom clusters in children.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Purpose of review

Researchers have focused on identifying and describing symptom experiences among children with various diseases but symptoms can have a synergistic and/or an antecedent effect that must be evaluated. This review reports the current knowledge of symptoms among various pediatric diseases and highlights symptom cluster research.

Recent findings

Symptoms of depression and anxiety are the most prevalent variables studied across pediatric disease studies followed by pain, fatigue, and quality of life. Although previous pediatric symptom research provides a foundation for understanding the complexities of these symptoms, there is limited evidence on symptom cluster research in pediatrics. Pain and fatigue are the most common symptoms analyzed for correlations, and relationships among symptoms that have been evaluated in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, HIV, cancer, cardiac disease requiring an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, and at end of life. Pain and fatigue have been associated with sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, anorexia, and nausea/vomiting.


Pediatric oncology researchers are leading the way with symptom cluster studies; however, this work remains in the early stages. There is great potential to advance the state of the science with cluster analysis. Future research work should focus on evaluating symptoms and their interactions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rodgers, CC; Hooke, MC; Hockenberry, MJ

Published Date

  • March 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 67 - 72

PubMed ID

  • 23108342

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1751-4266

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1751-4258

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/spc.0b013e32835ad551


  • eng