Can Symptom Scores And Symptom Profiles Be More Clinically Useful? (219)

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Friday, September 16
Symptom science has rapidly evolved over the past two decades, with progression from symptom measurement to sophisticated approaches to analyzing symptom data to illuminate symptom patterns. Cluster and person-specific approaches have been used in pediatric oncology research, but discussion of the clinical value of data generated from these approaches is lacking.

A cluster approach examines the clustering of symptoms to determine which symptoms co-occur together, while a person-specific approach examines how patients who report similar symptoms cluster together to form patient subgroups (Miaskowski et al., 2007). Using the person-specific approach of latent class analysis, child symptom suffering profiles (high, medium, and low) have been identified in children diagnosed with cancer (Hinds et al., 2021). Although disagreement (Mack et al., 2020) and discordance (Montgomery et al., 2021) has been demonstrated between children’s and parents’ symptom reports, the outcomes of relying on proxy reports to guide care is unknown. Early empirical evidence suggests child and proxy reported symptom profiles are congruent, providing encouragement to clinicians that proxy reports may be used to guide care when children are not able to self-report (Weaver et al., 2022).

Illumination of child and parent-proxy symptom profiles creates a unique opportunity for researchers to engage clinicians on the clinical utility of such data in practice. The purpose of this educational session is to compare approaches used to analyze symptom data, consider the clinical value of such data in supporting symptom management (assessment, intervention, evaluation), and discuss challenges to implementation of innovative solutions to enhance pain and symptom management and improve outcomes. Prepared with this knowledge, pediatric hematology/oncology nurses will be able to describe the nursing role in the clinical application of symptom research and identify strategies for integrating patient-reported symptom data into the clinical setting to enhance the care of children with cancer and blood disorders.