Symptoms and Experiences with Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Mixed Methods Study of Patients and Caregivers
Introduction Understanding of the patient-perceived symptom burden of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is limited. The objective of this study was to explore patients’ experiences with SCLC, identify which treatment-/disease-related symptoms have the greatest impact on their well-being, and gain caregiver perspectives. Methods A noninterventional, cross-sectional, multimodal, mixed methods study was conducted from April–June 2021. Adult patients with SCLC and unpaid caregivers were eligible to participate. Patients’ experiences, captured via 5-day video diaries and follow-up interviews, were scored 1–10 on how bothersome the patients perceived each symptom/symptomatic adverse event. Patients indicated if they believed a symptom was disease or treatment related. Caregivers participated in an online community board. Results The study included nine patients (five with extensive-stage [ES] disease, four with limited-stage [LS] disease) and nine caregivers. Except for one patient/caregiver pairing, patients and caregivers were unmatched. The most common impactful symptoms in patients with ES-SCLC were shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing, chest pain, and nausea/vomiting; in LS-SCLC, these were fatigue and shortness of breath. Among patients with ES disease, SCLC had a high impact on physical (leisure/hobbies, work, sleep, ability to do household chores and errands/responsibilities outside home), social (family dynamics, extrafamilial social interaction), and emotional (mental health) aspects. Patients with LS-SCLC faced the long-term physical effects of treatment, financial implications, and emotional toll of an uncertain prognosis. SCLC had a high personal and psychologic burden among caregivers, whose duties consumed much of their time. Caregivers observed similar symptoms and impacts of SCLC as those reported by patients. Conclusions This study provides valuable insight into patient- and caregiver-perceived burden of SCLC and can inform the design of prospective studies. Clinicians should seek to understand patients’ opinions and priorities before making treatment decisions.
Caregiver; Patient-reported outcome; Small cell lung cancer
Bebb DG, Murray C, Giannopoulou A, Felip E. Symptoms and Experiences with Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Mixed Methods Study of Patients and Caregivers. Pulm Ther. 2023 Sep;9:435–50.
Use this identifier for quote and/or link this documenthttps://hdl.handle.net/11351/10257
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