Self-management of cancer treatment-related fatigue, nausea, vomiting and oral mucositis in Chinese cancer patients

Lou, Yan (2011) Self-management of cancer treatment-related fatigue, nausea, vomiting and oral mucositis in Chinese cancer patients. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Background: Treatment-related symptoms continue to place a significant burden on many cancer patients. Many side effects require patients to engage in a range of self-management actions. While some studies have explored self-management of treatment-related side effects in Western settings, very few studies were identified that described the self-management practices of cancer patients in China. Objective: The purposes of this study are to: (1) Investigate Chinese cancer patients. self-management behaviours in dealing with the fatigue, nausea/vomiting and oral mucositis that result from treatment, as well as the perceived effectiveness of these behaviours and related self-efficacy in performing them. (2) Explore factors influencing symptom self-management behaviours using the Cancer Symptom Self-management Framework based on Grey, Knafl and McCorkle.s (2006) self-management framework as a guide. Methods: This study was divided into two phases. Phase One consisted of the translation and modification of two instruments. The adaptation of these instruments to ensure applicability in the Chinese context was achieved through semi-structured interviews with six cancer patients, and content evaluation with eight experienced oncology nurses. A pilot study was conducted with nine cancer patients to trial the questionnaire set in the Chinese context. Based on the results of Phase One, Phase Two involved a cross-sectional survey of Chinese cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment using these instruments. A total of 277 chemotherapy patients with fatigue and/or nausea and vomiting, and 100 radiotherapy patients with oral mucositis were surveyed. Results: Participants in this study reported a variety of self-management behaviours to cope with fatigue, nausea, vomiting and oral mucositis. There are some consistencies as well disparities between strategies that are frequently used and those rated as effective. For fatigue self-management, participants were more likely to use strategies related to rest and sleep, while activity enhancement strategies were rated as achieving higher relief. For nausea and vomiting self-management, dietary modification and taking medication were most frequently used and rated as moderately effective. Psychological strategies were used by more than a third of participants and were rated as mildly effective. Some other infrequently used strategies, such as distraction by keeping busy and acupressure, were rated as moderately effective. For oral mucositis self-management, having soft, bland food and keeping the mouth moisturised were most frequently reported and they were rated as achieving moderate relief. A prescribed mouthwash was used by most but not all participants and brought moderate relief. In general, patients had low-to-moderate self-efficacy in nausea and vomiting self-management behaviours, moderate self-efficacy in fatigue self-management behaviours, and low-to-moderate self-efficacy in oral mucositis self-management behaviours. In terms of the factors influencing symptom self-management, different predictors were identified affecting engagement in fatigue, nausea/vomiting and oral mucositis self-management behaviours. Self-efficacy scores of different behaviours were consistently found to be a positive predictor of the relief level from corresponding behaviours, after controlling for other variables. Perceived social support from health care professionals was identified as an important factor influencing nausea and vomiting self-management behaviours, while neighbourhood support was important for fatigue self-management. In addition, symptom distress was identified as an important factor influencing nausea and vomiting self-management. Conclusion: Similar to reports from overseas, Chinese cancer patients initiate a wide range of self-management behaviours in response to treatment-related side effects. While some behaviours were reported to provide relief, many did not. Given these results, this study has a number of practical implications for health care professionals, particularly in relation to developing tailored self-management programs for fatigue, nausea, vomiting and oral mucositis. Additionally, this study suggests a number of theoretical implications and directions for future research. It is envisaged that these recommendations may pave the way for further studies understanding and promoting cancer symptom self-management in Chinese people affected by cancer.

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ID Code: 44127
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Yates, Patricia & McCarthy, Alexandra
Keywords: cancer symptom self-management framework, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), Chinese cancer patients, fatigue, fatigue self-management (FSM), nausea and vomiting self-management (NVSM), oral mucositis (OM), oral mucositis self-management (OMSM), self and family management framework, self-care, self-management, symptom management
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 22 Aug 2011 02:26
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2011 02:26

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