First name
Liliana
Last name
Orellana

Title

Self-reported fatigue in children with advanced cancer: Results of the PediQUEST study.

Year of Publication

2018

Date Published

2018 Oct 06

ISSN Number

1097-0142

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Pediatric cancer-related fatigue is prevalent and significantly impairs health-related quality of life, yet its patterns and correlates are poorly understood. The objectives of this study were to describe fatigue as prospectively reported by children with advanced cancer and to identify the factors associated with fatigue and associated distress.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Children (age ≥2 years) with advanced cancer (N = 104) or their parents at 3 academic hospitals reported symptoms at most weekly over 9 months using the computer-based Pediatric Quality of Life Evaluation of Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) system. PediQUEST administered a modified version of the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (PQ-MSAS) as part of a randomized controlled trial. Clinical information was abstracted from medical records. Primary outcomes were: 1) fatigue prevalence (yes/no response to PQ-MSAS fatigue item) and 2) fatigue distress (composite score of severity, frequency, and bother). Multivariable models were constructed to identify factors independently associated with fatigue prevalence and scores reflecting fatigue distress (ie, burden).</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of 920 reports, 46% (n = 425) noted fatigue. When reported, fatigue was of high frequency in 41% of respondents (n = 174), severity in 25%of respondents (n = 107), and bother in 34%of respondents (n = 143). Most reports (84%; n = 358) were associated with scores indicating fatigue distress. In multivariable analyses, fatigue was associated with older age, lower hemoglobin, and distress from particular symptoms (anorexia, nausea, sleep disturbance, sadness, and irritability). In contrast, fatigue distress was associated with distress from nausea, cough, and pain.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Fatigue is common among children with advanced cancer and is often highly distressing. Interventions focused on uncontrolled symptoms may ease fatigue distress in children with advanced cancer.</p>

DOI

10.1002/cncr.31639

Alternate Title

Cancer

PMID

30291811

Title

Tumor Talk and Child-Well Being: Perceptions of "good" and "bad" news among parents of children with advanced cancer.

Year of Publication

2017

Date Published

2017 Jan 03

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

CONTEXT: Little is known about how parents of children with advanced cancer classify news they receive about their child's medical condition.

OBJECTIVE: To develop concepts of "good news" and "bad news" in discussions of advanced childhood cancer from parent perspectives.

METHODS: Parents of children with advanced cancer cared for at three children's hospitals were asked to share details of conversations in the preceding 3 months that contained "good news" or "bad news" related to their child's medical condition. We used mixed methods to evaluate parent responses to both open-ended and fixed response items.

RESULTS: Of 104 enrolled parents, 86 (83%) completed the survey. Six (7%) parents reported discussing neither good nor bad news, 18 (21%) reported only bad news, 15 (17%) reported only good news, and 46 (54%) reported both good and bad news (1 missing response). Seventy-six parents (88%) answered free response items. Descriptions of both good and bad news discussions consisted predominantly of "tumor talk" or cancer control. Additional treatment options featured prominently, particularly in discussions of bad news (42%). Child well-being, an important good news theme, encompassed treatment tolerance, symptom reduction, and quality of life.

CONCLUSION: A majority of parents of children with advanced cancer report discussing both good and bad news in the preceding 3 months. While news related primarily to cancer control, parents also describe good news discussions related to their child's well-being. Understanding how parents of children with advanced cancer classify and describe the news they receive may enhance efforts to promote family-centered communication.

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2016.11.013

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

28062345

Title

Quality of Life in Children with Advanced Cancer: A Report from the PediQUEST Study.

Year of Publication

2016

Date Published

2016 May 21

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Modifiable factors of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) are poorly described among children with advanced cancer. Symptom-distress may be an important factor for intervention.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>We aimed to describe patient-reported HRQOL and its relationship to symptom distress.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Prospective, longitudinal data from the multicenter Pediatric Quality of Life and Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) study included primarily patient-reported symptom-distress and HRQOL, measured at most weekly with the Memorial Symptoms Assessment Scale and Pediatric Quality of Life [PedsQL] inventory, respectively. Associations were evaluated using linear mixed-effects models adjusting for sex, age, cancer type, intervention arm, treatment intensity, and time since disease progression.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of 104 enrolled patients, 49% were female, 89% were white, and median age was 12.6 years. Nine hundred and twenty surveys were completed over nine months of follow-up (84% by patients). The median total PedsQL score was 74 (IQR 63-87) and was "poor/fair" (e.g., &lt;70) 38% of the time. "Poor/fair" categories were highest in physical (53%) and school (48%) compared to emotional (24%) and social (16%) subscores. Thirteen of 24 symptoms were independently associated with reductions in overall or domain-specific HRQOL. Patients commonly reported distress from two or more symptoms, corresponding to larger HRQOL score reductions. Neither cancer type, time since progression, treatment intensity, sex, nor age was associated with HRQOL scores in multivariable models. Among 25 children completing surveys during the last 12 weeks of life, 11 distressing symptoms were associated with reductions in HRQOL.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Symptom-distress is strongly associated with HRQOL. Future research should determine whether alleviating distressing symptoms improves HRQOL in children with advanced cancer.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2016.04.002

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

27220948

Title

What's missing in missing data? Omissions in survey responses among parents of children with advanced cancer.

Year of Publication

2014

Number of Pages

953-6

Date Published

2014 Aug

ISSN Number

1557-7740

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Missing data is a common phenomenon with survey-based research; patterns of missing data may elucidate why participants decline to answer certain questions.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>To describe patterns of missing data in the Pediatric Quality of Life and Evaluation of Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) study, and highlight challenges in asking sensitive research questions.</p>

<p><strong>DESIGN: </strong>Cross-sectional, survey-based study embedded within a randomized controlled trial.</p>

<p><strong>SETTING: </strong>Three large children's hospitals: Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (DF/BCCDC); Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); and Seattle Children's Hospital (SCH).</p>

<p><strong>MEASUREMENTS: </strong>At the time of their child's enrollment, parents completed the Survey about Caring for Children with Cancer (SCCC), including demographics, perceptions of prognosis, treatment goals, quality of life, and psychological distress.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Eighty-six of 104 parents completed surveys (83% response). The proportion of missing data varied by question type. While 14 parents (16%) left demographic fields blank, over half (n=48; 56%) declined to answer at least one question about their child's prognosis, especially life expectancy. The presence of missing data was unrelated to the child's diagnosis, time from progression, time to death, or parent distress (p&gt;0.3 for each). Written explanations in survey margins suggested that addressing a child's life expectancy is particularly challenging for parents.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: </strong>Parents of children with cancer commonly refrain from answering questions about their child's prognosis, however, they may be more likely to address general cure likelihood than explicit life expectancy. Understanding acceptability of sensitive questions in survey-based research will foster higher quality palliative care research.</p>

DOI

10.1089/jpm.2013.0663

Alternate Title

J Palliat Med

PMID

24865204

Title

Improving the care of children with advanced cancer by using an electronic patient-reported feedback intervention: results from the PediQUEST randomized controlled trial.

Year of Publication

2014

Number of Pages

1119-26

Date Published

2014 Apr 10

ISSN Number

1527-7755

Abstract

<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>This study aimed to determine whether feeding back patient-reported outcomes (PROs) to providers and families of children with advanced cancer improves symptom distress and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).</p>

<p><strong>PATIENTS AND METHODS: </strong>This study was a parallel, multicentered pilot randomized controlled trial. At most once per week, children age ≥ 2 years old with advanced cancer or their parent completed the computer-based Pediatric Quality of Life and Evaluation of Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) survey consisting of age- and respondent-adapted versions of the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS), Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 Generic Core Scales (PedsQL4.0), and an overall Sickness question. In the intervention group (n = 51), oncologists and families received printed reports summarizing PROs; e-mails were sent to oncologists and subspecialists when predetermined scores were exceeded. No feedback was provided in the control group (n = 53). Primary outcomes included linear trends of MSAS, PedsQL4.0 total and subscale scores, and Sickness scores during 20 weeks of follow-up, along with child, parent, and provider satisfaction with PediQUEST feedback.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Feedback did not significantly affect average MSAS, PedsQL4.0, or Sickness score trends. Post hoc subgroup analyses among children age ≥ 8 years who survived 20 weeks showed that feedback improved PedsQL4.0 emotional (+8.1; 95% CI, 1.8 to 14.4) and Sickness (-8.2; 95% CI, -14.2 to -2.2) scores. PediQUEST reports were valued by children, parents, and providers and contributed at least sometimes to physician initiation of a psychosocial consult (56%).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Although routine feedback of PROs did not significantly affect the child's symptoms or HRQoL, changes were in expected directions and improvements observed in emotional HRQoL through exploratory analyses were encouraging. Importantly, children, parents, and providers value PRO feedback.</p>

DOI

10.1200/JCO.2013.51.5981

Alternate Title

J. Clin. Oncol.

PMID

24616307

Title

Economic impact of advanced pediatric cancer on families.

Year of Publication

2014

Number of Pages

594-603

Date Published

2014 Mar

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Despite emerging evidence of substantial financial distress in families of children with complex illness, little is known about economic hardship in families of children with advanced cancer.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>To describe perceived financial hardship, work disruptions, income losses, and associated economic impact in families of children with advanced cancer stratified by federal poverty level (FPL).</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Cross-sectional survey of 86 parents of children with progressive, recurrent, or nonresponsive cancer at three children's hospitals. Seventy-one families with complete income data (82%) are included in this analysis.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Parental work disruptions were prevalent across all income levels, with 67 (94%) families reporting some disruption. At least one parent quit a job because of the child's illness in 29 (42%) families. Nineteen (27%) families described their child's illness as a great economic hardship. Income losses because of work disruptions were substantial for all families; families at or below 200% FPL, however, were disproportionately affected. Six (50%) of the poorest families lost more than 40% of their annual income as compared with two (5%) of the wealthiest families (P&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.006). As a result of income losses, nine (15%) previously nonpoor families fell from above to below 200% FPL.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>The economic impact of pediatric advanced cancer on families is significant at all income levels, although poorer families suffer disproportionate losses. Development of ameliorative intervention strategies is warranted.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2013.04.003

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

23870843

Title

Symptoms and Distress in Children With Advanced Cancer: Prospective Patient-Reported Outcomes From the PediQUEST Study.

Year of Publication

2015

Number of Pages

1928-35

Date Published

06/2015

ISSN Number

1527-7755

Abstract

<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>Thousands of children are living with advanced cancer; yet patient-reported outcomes (PROs) have rarely been used to describe their experiences. We aimed to describe symptom distress in 104 children age 2 years or older with advanced cancer enrolled onto the Pediatric Quality of Life and Evaluation of Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) Study (multisite clinical trial evaluating an electronic PRO system).</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Symptom data were collected using age- and respondent-adapted versions of the PediQUEST Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (PQ-MSAS) at most once per week. Clinical and treatment data were obtained from medical records. Individual symptom scores were dichotomized into high/low distress. Determinants of PQ-MSAS scores were explored using linear mixed-effects models.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>During 9 months of follow-up, PQ-MSAS was administered 920 times: 459 times in teens (99% self-report), 249 times in children ages 7 to 12 years (96% child/parent report), and 212 times in those ages 2 to 6 years (parent reports). Common symptoms included pain (48%), fatigue (46%), drowsiness (39%), and irritability (37%); most scores indicated high distress. Among the 73 PQ-MSAS surveys administered in the last 12 weeks of life, pain was highly prevalent (62%; 58% with high distress). Being female, having a brain tumor, experiencing recent disease progression, and receiving moderate- or high-intensity cancer-directed therapy in the prior 10 days were associated with worse PQ-MSAS scores. In the final 12 weeks of life, receiving mild cancer-directed therapy was associated with improved psychological PQ-MSAS scores.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Children with advanced cancer experience high symptom distress. Strategies to promote intensive symptom management are indicated, especially with disease progression or administration of intensive treatments.</p>

DOI

10.1200/JCO.2014.59.1222

Alternate Title

J. Clin. Oncol.

PMID

25918277

Title

Feasibility of Conducting a Palliative Care Randomized Controlled Trial in Children With Advanced Cancer: Assessment of the PediQUEST Study.

Year of Publication

2015

Number of Pages

1059-69

Date Published

06/2015

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Pediatric palliative care randomized controlled trials (PPC-RCTs) are uncommon.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>To evaluate the feasibility of conducting a PPC-RCT in pediatric cancer patients.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>This was a cohort study embedded in the Pediatric Quality of Life and Evaluation of Symptoms Technology Study (NCT01838564). This multicenter PPC-RCT evaluated an electronic patient-reported outcomes system. Children aged two years and older, with advanced cancer, and potentially eligible for the study were included. Outcomes included: pre-inclusion attrition (patients not approached, refusals); post-inclusion attrition (drop-out, elimination, death, and intermittent attrition (IA; missing surveys) over nine months of follow-up); child/teenager self-report rates; and, reasons to enroll/participate.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Over five years, of the 339 identified patients, 231 were eligible (in 22, we could not verify eligibility); 84 eligible patients were not approached and 43 declined participation. Patients not approached were more likely to die or have brain tumors. We enrolled 104 patients. Average enrollment rate was one patient per site per month; shortening follow-up from nine to three months (with optional re-enrollment) increased recruitment by 20%. A total of 87 patients completed the study (24 died) and 17 dropped out. Median IA was 41% in the first 20 weeks of follow-up and more than 60% in the eight weeks preceding death. Child/teenager self-report was 94%. Helping others, low burden procedures, incentives, and staff attitude were frequent reasons to enroll/participate.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>A PPC-RCT in children with advanced cancer was feasible, post-inclusion retention adequate; many families participated for altruistic reasons. Strategies that may further PPC-RCT feasibility include: increasing target population through large multicenter studies, approaching sicker patients, preventing exclusion of certain patient groups, and improving data collection at end of life.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.12.010

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

25640275

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