Stephen Stapleton Funded Projects
Symptom Clusters in the Palliative Care Setting
Funding Source: National Institute of Nursing Research, Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
Faculty Sponsor: Diana Wilkie
Dates: 12/16/07– 6/15/09
Abstract: The majority of nursing research on cancer related symptoms has focused on a single symptom such as pain or fatigue. Recent research has demonstrated that symptoms are complex, multifaceted phenomena that occur in clusters of three or more related symptoms. However, symptom cluster research has focused primarily on middle class, Caucasian populations with inadequate representation of ethnically diverse patient populations. The aims of this dissertation are to: (1) quantify the most frequently occurring symptoms experienced by advanced cancer patients newly admitted to an urban, ethnically diverse hospice/palliative care setting; and (2) examine the relationships among the identified symptoms to determine whether or not these symptoms form one or more clusters. Acknowledging the presence of these common symptoms along with which symptoms form a cluster, or clusters, will generate additional hypothesis and further research studies to address management strategies toward providing a more comprehensive approach to symptom management within the hospice/palliative care setting.