Symptom recognition in advanced cancer. A comparison of nursing records against patient self-rating

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2001 Oct;45(9):1080-5. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-6576.2001.450905.x.


The aim of the study was to investigate the extent to which the symptoms experienced by advanced cancer patients were covered by the nursing records. On the day of the first contact with our palliative care department, a nursing record was taken, and on this or the following day, 56 patients filled in the questionnaires EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30), Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). In each patient, the symptomatology reported in the patient-completed questionnaires was compared with the symptomatology mentioned by the nurse in the nursing record. The analysis revealed good concordance concerning pain and poor physical functioning, but patients reported other symptoms or problems much more often than their nurses. Reasons for these discrepancies are discussed. It is suggested that the nurse's knowledge of the patient's symptomatology might gain from more systematic screening or from transfer of information from patient self-assessment questionnaires to the nursing records.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / nursing
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain / nursing
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self-Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires