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Cancer Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3182948438
Articles: Online Only

Symptom Occurrence and Severity on the Therapy-Related Symptom Checklist for Children Among Hispanic Pediatric Oncology Outpatients

Williams, Phoebe D. PhD, RN, FAAN; Robinson, Jane MSN, APRN-C; Williams, Arthur R. PhD, MA, MPA

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Abstract

Background: A calibrated easy-to-use symptom checklist for children who are under treatment for cancer had been developed and reported in Cancer Nursing. The 30-item Therapy-Related Symptom Checklist for Children (TRSC-C) has good measurement and psychometric properties and uses “kid-friendly” terms to monitor symptom occurrence and severity during oncology treatment. A secondary analysis is reported using participants who self-identified as Hispanic.

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine among Hispanic pediatric oncology outpatients (a) occurrence and (b) severity of symptoms reported on the TRSC-C, (c) relationships of symptoms to gender and age (<12 vs ≥12), and (d) differences in summated TRSC-C symptom scores between patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and other diagnoses.

Method: This was a cross-sectional analysis using secondary data and descriptive statistics.

Sample: The sample was composed of 79 children (55% male) aged 5 to 17 years (mean, 10.3 years) with diagnosis of ALL (52%) or other (48%). Instrument used was TRSC-C by patient/parent report (Cronbach’s α = .91).

Results: (a) Symptom occurrence: 15 symptoms on the TRSC-C were reported by 40% or greater. (b) Severity means on 11 symptoms were greater than “a little bit.” (c) No gender or age differences were found on mean TRSC-C summated scores. (d) Mean TRSC-C scores (symptom occurrence and severity) were slightly lower but not significantly different (t = 1.71) between ALL (13.71 [SD, 8.06]) and other diagnoses (15.71 [SD, 7.01]).

Conclusion: Symptom occurrence and severity reported on the TRSC-C by this Hispanic subsample are consistent with findings in the calibration study and with those of another Hispanic group and other ethnicities.

Implications for Practice: Use of the TRSC-C is appropriate during pediatric oncology treatment and diagnoses of Hispanic populations.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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