Regardless of their treatment, cancer patients endure a variety of difficult symptoms during their disease with averages ranging from 7 to 14 symptoms each. Cancer-related symptoms, especially when symptoms are very intense, distressing, frequent, or interfere with daily activities, can lead to depression, anxiety, and diminished quality of life. Improving their ability to self-manage difficult symptoms has the potential to diminish suffering, improve quality of life and decrease emergency room visits and associated costs. We propose to test a brief, effective intervention with outpatients in a cancer center, with the goal of teaching patients symptom management skills for self-identified symptoms of highest priority to patients.
Public Health Relevance
Our problem-solving intervention is likely to be very potent in improving quality of life because it addresses these important factors-- patient symptoms, self-efficacy, appraisals of symptoms, and perceived barriers --in a comprehensive package.