Future Directions in Symptom Cluster Research

Christine Miaskowski
Seminars in Oncology Nursing 2016, 32 (4): 405-415

OBJECTIVES: To consider future directions for symptom cluster research. These considerations are organized using the two main conceptual approaches for symptom cluster research (ie, "de novo" identification of symptom clusters, and identification of subgroups of patients with distinct symptom experiences with a prespecified symptom cluster).

DATA SOURCES: Peer-reviewed journals and guidelines from professional organizations.

CONCLUSION: Research on symptom clusters in oncology patients is growing at an exponential rate. However, numerous studies are needed to increase the growth of symptom management research.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Findings from this area of symptom management science have the potential to improve the management of multiple co-occurring symptoms in oncology patients. In addition, mechanistic-based studies hold great promise to identify new biological and behavioral targets that will form the basis for subsequent intervention studies.

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