Patients' and Physicians' Interpretation of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity

J Peripher Nerv Syst. 2019 Mar;24(1):111-119. doi: 10.1111/jns.12306. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

Abstract

To test if and how chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN) is perceived differently by patients and physicians, making assessment and interpretation challenging. We performed a secondary analysis of the CI-PeriNomS study which included 281 patients with stable CIPN. We tested: (a) the association between patients' perception of activity limitation in performing eight common tasks and neurological impairment and (b) how the responses to questions related to these daily activities are interpreted by the treating oncologist. To achieve this, we compared patients' perception of their activity limitation with neurological assessment and the oncologists' blind interpretation. Distribution of the scores attributed by oncologists to each daily life maximum limitation ("impossible") generated three groups: Group 1 included limitations oncologists attributed mainly to motor impairment; Group 2 ones mainly attributed to sensory impairment and Group 3 ones with uncertain motor and sensory impairment. Only a subset of questions showed a significant trend between severity in subjective limitation, reported by patients, and neurological impairment. In Group 1, neurological examination confirmed motor impairment in only 51%-65% of patients; 76%-78% of them also had vibration perception impairment. In Group 2, sensory impairment ranged from 84% to 100%; some degree of motor impairment occurred in 43%-56% of them. In Group 3 strength reduction was observed in 49%-50% and sensory perception was altered in up to 82%. Interpretation provided by the panel of experienced oncologists was inconsistent with the neurological impairment. These observations highlight the need of a core set of outcome measures for future CIPN trials.

Keywords: assessment; chemotherapy; neurotoxicity; patient reported outcome measures; side effects.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Oncologists*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Severity of Illness Index*