The Effect of Family-Centered Supportive Program on Chemotherapy-Induced Symptoms in Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a disease of the hematopoietic system and chemotherapy is recommended as the primary treatment. As many chemotherapeutic agents have severe adverse effects, patients require to be supported by their family to deal with chemotherapy-related symptoms. This study attempted to investigate the effect of a family-centered supportive program on chemotherapy symptom control in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Materials and Methods: Sixty-six patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing chemotherapy along with their caregivers participated in this nonrandomized clinical trial. Patients in Shariati and Taleghani Hospital were assigned to the intervention (n=33) and control group (n=33), respectively. A survey of the family-centered supportive program was conducted via in-person and telephone up to 6 cycles of chemotherapy. The chemotherapy symptom assessment scale was administered to record the data during six cycles of chemotherapy treatment. The control group only received routine interventions. Data were analyzed using Chi-square and Mann–Whitney U tests.
Results: The results of the study indicated that there was a statistically significant difference in terms of the frequency of 9 chemotherapy-induced symptoms including nausea, shortness of breath, problems with the skin and nails, a sore/sensitive mouth or throat, anorexia, weight gain or loss, headache and sore/scratchy/dry eyes between the control and intervention group. There was also a statistically significant difference in the severity and level of discomfort of 19 chemotherapy-induced symptoms between the control and intervention group.
Conclusion: Family-centered supportive program can be considered as an approach to decrease the frequency, severity and discomfort level of chemotherapy-induced symptoms.
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