February 2010, Volume 33 Number 1 , p 37 - 46
The purpose of this study was to assess patient-reported symptoms and self-care methods used during cancer treatments, using checklists. A descriptive study was performed at the cancer institute of a national medical center in Manila on 100 patients undergoing combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy, n = 37, or chemotherapy alone, n = 63. Instruments used were (a) 25-item patient-reported Therapy-Related Symptoms Checklist (TRSC), (b) Self-care Methods (with the 25 TRSC items) tool, (c) Karnofsky Scale, (d) Demographic form, and (e) Health form. The TRSC (Philippine version) Cronbach á = .83. The TRSC scores inversely, significantly correlated with nurse-rated Karnofsky measure of functional status (r = −0.45; P < .001)-all evidences of internal consistency reliability, construct, and concurrent validity; similar findings were found in Midwestern United States and 2 other Asian settings. Compared with those receiving chemotherapy alone, patients who had combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy reported more symptoms with greater severity on several TRSC subscales. Self-care methods most used were in 2 categories: (a) diet/nutrition/lifestyle change (eg, modify food/eating habits; eat vegetables and fruits (papaya); use nutritional supplements; have naps, rest, sleep) to manage eating, oropharynx, nausea, and fatigue subscale symptoms; and (b) mind/body control (eg, prayer, praying the rosary, music) to relieve fatigue subscale, other symptoms. The TRSC (Philippine version) and Self-care Methods assess patient-reported symptoms and patients' self-care use. Oncology symptom management is enhanced by a valid clinical assessment tool.