Purpose: To describe the co-occurring symptoms (depression, fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairment), quality of life (QoL), and functional status in patients with high-grade glioma.
Design: Correlational, descriptive study of 73 participants with high-grade glioma in the U.S.
Methods: Nine brief measures were obtained with a mailed survey. Participants were recruited from the online message board of The Healing Exchange BRAIN TRUST, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving quality of life for people with brain tumors.
Findings: Two symptom cluster models were examined. Four co-occurring symptoms were significantly correlated with each other and explained 29% of the variance in QoL: depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairment. Depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment, and pain were significantly correlated with each other and explained 62% of the variance in functional status.
Conclusions: The interrelationships of the symptoms examined in this study and their relationships with QoL and functional status meet the criteria for defining a symptom cluster. The differences in the models of QoL and functional status indicates that symptom clusters may have unique characteristics in patients with gliomas.