Context: Lung cancer is common cancer worldwide. Because of the high-symptoms burden and severe morbidity, effective symptoms management requires comprehensive self-care strategies.
Aim: This study was aimed to assess the effect of self-care guidelines on symptoms burden for patients with lung cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
Methods: This study was conducted at the outpatient clinics in Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Center, affiliated to Ain Shams University. A quasi-experimental (pre/posttest) design was employed on a purposive sample of 50 adult patients were recruited for this study. The data were collected through a structured interview questionnaire to assess the patients’ socio-demographic characteristics, medical health profile, and knowledge about lung cancer. Lung Cancer and Chemotherapy Associated Symptoms Self-care Practices’ Assessment Questionnaire and M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory-Lung Cancer (MDASI-LC) were also used.
Results: The present study revealed that 36% of the patients had a satisfactory level of knowledge pre-implementation of self-care guidelines, which improved significantly for 48% of the patients post-implementation at p 0.007. 26.3% of them exhibit a satisfactory level of self-care practice pre-implementation of self-care guidelines that improved significantly (57.9%) post-implementation at p 0.001. Also, lung cancer symptom burdens and symptoms' influence on patients' lives were significantly improved after the implementation compared with preintervention level at p 0.001. A non-significant difference between pre and post-implementation of self-care guidelines regarding symptoms interference with patients' life was revealed at p 0.801. There were statistically negative correlations between patients' total symptom severity and self-care practice pre- and post-self-care guidelines implementation.
Conclusion: self-care guidelines have a statistically significant positive effect on decreasing the severity of lung cancer symptoms. While chemotherapy-associated symptoms were slightly improved, there were no significant differences between pre and post-self-care guidelines implementation regarding symptoms interference with patients’ life. Health education programs about the disease and its management should be provided for lung cancer patients.
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