Is global symptom assessment in childhood cancer possible?
Louise Soanes Senior sister for children’s services, McElwain Ward, The Royal Marsden Hospital, London
Cancer patients must self report their symptoms. However, self reporting in children and young adults is fraught with difficulties because of their inability to express themselves fully, or because of healthcare workers’ perception of a child’s symptoms and also because of the overarching degree of distress associated with symptoms. In addition, although cancer patients suffer multiple symptoms, which can be related to the tumour itself or to treatment, symptom management fails to address these issues as a whole and instead focuses on individual symptoms, such as pain, fatigue or depression. This article examines the complicated, and hitherto unresearched, field of cluster symptom management in children and young adults.
Cancer Nursing Practice. 3, 8,35-39. doi: 10.7748/cnp2004.10.3.8.35.c141