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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • distress thermometer;
  • Jordanian;
  • oncology;
  • symptom distress

Omran S, Saeed AMA, Simpson J. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2012; 18: 125–132

Symptom distress of Jordanian patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy

The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of symptom distress among Jordanian patients with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy. A total of 112 patients with cancer were evaluated using the Distress Thermometer and clinical symptom problem list, and Demographic and Clinical Characteristic Data Sheet. Patients in the sample were mostly female, and recently diagnosed with cancer during the past 6 months, with a variety of types of cancer with breast cancer being the most common. Patients reported several symptoms with nausea, fatigue, anorexia and daily activity disorder being reported most frequently. Most of the patients (71%) reported distress at a clinically significant level. Distress was correlated with clinical characteristics as treatment number and time. Problems in the areas of family relationships, emotional functioning and physical functioning were associated with higher reports of distress. Identification of the presence of distress is the first step towards referral and treatment of the symptoms that may contribute to the distress of the patient with cancer.