Clinical assessment of symptom clusters

Cheryl Lacasse, Susan L Beck
Seminars in Oncology Nursing 2007, 23 (2): 106-12

OBJECTIVES: To review the principles of symptom cluster assessment, choosing appropriate symptom measures, and methods to identify symptom clusters.

DATA SOURCES: Review articles, research articles, and specialty texts.

CONCLUSION: Identification of symptom clusters is clinically challenging and includes the use of reliable symptom assessment tools and clinical judgment. Evidence to guide assessment of symptom clusters is based on limited clinical research and expert practice. Additional research is needed to guide the accurate assessment of symptom clusters and the patient's symptom experience.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Comprehensive assessment of symptom clusters in individuals with cancer will lead to tailored, comprehensive symptom management strategies that may have a profound impact on cancer-related quality of life.

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