Bereaved Family Members’ Perceptions of the Distressing Symptoms of Terminal Patients With Cancer

Yoshiaki Okamoto, Tatsuya Morita, Satoru Tsuneto, Maho Aoyama, Yoshiyuki Kizawa, Yasuo Shima, Mitsunori Miyashita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Few data are available on bereaved family members’ perspective on the frequency of symptoms and degree of distress among terminal patients with cancer. Methods: We sent a questionnaire to 1472 bereaved family members of terminal patients with cancer in 20 general hospitals. The questionnaire asked them (1) to indicate which symptoms the patients had, (2) to rate on a 4-point scale the extent to which the symptom was distressing, as follows: 1 = not distressing, 2 = slightly distressing, 3 = quite distressing, and 4 = very distressing at the point of 2 weeks before the patient had died. Results: We analyzed 805 questionnaires for this study. Anorexia was the commonest symptom among terminal patients with cancer experienced by bereaved family members, followed by somnolence, weight loss, fatigue, and pain. Anorexia was the most distressing symptom among terminal patients with cancer experienced by bereaved family members, followed by weight loss, pain, edema, and dyspnea. Conclusions: Anorexia and weight loss were frequent symptoms and bereaved family members felt very distressing. Furthermore, there are not means of effective treatment now. Thus, we think that further study in this field is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)972-977
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • J-HOPE
  • anorexia
  • bereaved family member
  • distressing symptom
  • terminal cancer patient
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bereaved Family Members’ Perceptions of the Distressing Symptoms of Terminal Patients With Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this