Comparison of child self-report and parent proxy-report of symptoms: Results from a longitudinal symptom assessment study of children with advanced cancer

Title

Comparison of child self-report and parent proxy-report of symptoms: Results from a longitudinal symptom assessment study of children with advanced cancer

Creator

Montgomery K E; Vos K; Raybin J L; Ward J; Balian C; Gilger E A; Li Z

Identifier

Publisher

Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing

Date

2020

Subject

pediatric; childhood cancer; symptoms; advanced cancer

Description

PURPOSE: This report represents a subanalysis of data from a primary study and addresses a gap in understanding the similarities and differences of symptom reporting between children with advanced cancer and their parents. The objectives of this subanalysis were to (1) compare reports of symptom prevalence, symptom burden, and symptom frequency, severity, and distress between groups of children and adolescents and their parents, and (2) describe concordance of symptom reports within individual child-parent dyads. DESIGN AND METHODS: Forty-six children with relapsed, refractory, or progressive cancer and their parents from five pediatric cancer centers prospectively reported symptoms every 2 weeks for up to 61 weeks. The abbreviated Pediatric Quality of Life and Evaluation of Symptoms Technology-Memorial Symptom Assessment Scales were used to measure symptom prevalence, frequency, severity, and distress. RESULTS: Children and parents reported pain, fatigue, nausea, and sleeping difficulties as the most frequently occurring symptoms. With the exception of shortness of breath, parents reported symptom prevalence more often than children. The differences in parent reports were statistically significant for fatigue, nausea, lack of appetite, feeling nervous, and sadness. Parents reported higher symptom burden scores compared to children for all individual symptoms except shortness of breath. Children reported higher scores for 19 of 32 possible symptom frequency, severity, and distress ratings. Children's scores were higher for frequency and severity, while parents' scores were higher for distress. Sleeping difficulties, pain, nausea, and diarrhea demonstrated the highest concordance, while feeling nervous, sadness, irritability, and fatigue yielded the lowest concordance between children's and parents' symptom reports. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Eliciting the symptom experience from the child, when appropriate, rather than a parent proxy is best practice given evidence supporting the overestimation of symptom prevalence by parents and underestimation of symptom frequency and severity for some symptoms. When proxy raters must be used, pediatric nurses should educate proxy raters regarding symptom assessment, and assess and tend to symptoms that may not exhibit visual cues. Pediatric nurses should conduct a comprehensive symptom assessment and evaluate beyond the presence of symptoms and include an assessment of frequency, severity, and distress for physical and psychological symptoms to optimize symptom management strategies.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

Oncology 2020 List

Collection

Citation

Montgomery K E; Vos K; Raybin J L; Ward J; Balian C; Gilger E A; Li Z, “Comparison of child self-report and parent proxy-report of symptoms: Results from a longitudinal symptom assessment study of children with advanced cancer,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 20, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17387.

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