Previous studies demonstrated changes of patient perceptions (PP) and individual ranking of chemotherapy side effects (CSE) between 1983-2002. We updated this survey and evaluated changes in PP in comparison to previous studies and as longitudinal observation.
Patients with breast (BC) and ovarian cancer (OC) planned for chemotherapy were recruited in this prospective study. At three different visits (before (T1), week 12+/-3 (T2), and at the end of chemotherapy (T3)) patients were asked to identify out of 72 cards, displaying potential physical and non-physical CSE, the ten most burdensome and rank them finally to top five by severity.
In total, 141 patients (95 BC and 45 OC) were recruited. All three interviews were completed in 113 patients. The most severe CSE reported was “difficulty sleeping” compared to “vomiting” in 1983, “nausea” in 1993, and “affects my family/partner” in 2002 (Table 1a). “Loss of hair” remained a top concern over all studies. Over the complete observation period “affects my family/partner” and “difficulty sleeping” were among the top five severe side effects. “Feeling of not coping” and “nausea” were ranked only at T1, but not at T2/T3. “Loss of hair” was ranked at T1/T2, but no longer at T3. In contrast, “numbness in limbs” became relevant in T2/T3 (Table 1b).
Patient perceptions of CSE have changed markedly compared with previous studies. However, “loss of hair” has remained an unsolved problem over decades. Furthermore, we demonstrated that PP of CSE changes over the treatment period. However, social concerns like “affecting family/partner” remain long-lasting problems.
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.Table:
|Table 1a Ranking of side effects||1983 (Coates et al.)||1993 (Griffin et al.)||2002 (Carelle et al.)||2016 Current study|
|1||Vomiting||Nausea||Affects my family or partner||Difficulty sleeping|
|2||Nausea||Constantly tired||Loss of hair||Affects my family or partner|
|3||Loss of hair||Loss of hair||Constantly tired||Loss of hair|
|4||Thought of coming treatment||Thought of coming for treatment||Affects my work, home duties||Numbness in limbs|
|5||Length of time treatment takes at clinic||Vomiting||Affects my social activities||Shortness of breath|
|Table 1b Ranking||T1 (before initiation of chemotderapy)||T2 (after 12+/-3 w weeks of chemotderapy start)||T3 (end of chemotderapy + /- 2 weeks)|
|1||Affects my family or partner||Difficulty sleeping||Difficulty sleeping|
|2||Feeling of not coping with treatment||Affects my family or partner||Affects my family or partner|
|3||Loss of hair||Numbness in limbs||Numbness in limbs|
|4||Nausea||Loss of hair||Affects my work, home duties|
|5||Difficulty sleeping||Shortness of breath||Pins and needles in limbs (fingers, toes)|