Experiences of self-reporting symptoms by adults receiving cancer treatment: A phenomenological study
This qualitative study was proposed to investigate the experience of adults receiving cancer treatment self-reporting their symptoms. This phenomenological study used Edmund Husserl’s descriptive phenomenology. The researcher recruited throughout the United States. Thirteen participants with advanced or metastatic cancer undergoing systemic cancer treatment were enrolled. Researcher asked participants to describe their experiences self-reporting their symptoms. Interviews were audio-taped and used as the data collection method. Open-ended questions and probes were used during the interview. Audiotaped interviews were transcribed and analyzed according to Colaizzi's method. The findings from the categorized interview data revealed four main themes. Real-time reporting for bothersome symptoms and communicating directly to the member of their health care team who will be deciding the symptom management plan, were consistent subthemes in all the interviews. This qualitative study uncovered and improved understanding of the participants’ experience self-reporting their symptoms with the ability to capture the totality of their experience. A better understanding of these experiences could lead to improved communication methods for patients to report their symptoms that ultimately reduces patient burden and enhances patient engagement. Ensuring that patient’s preferences for reporting their symptoms are met may influence the likelihood and timeliness of symptom self-reporting. Finding or developing new and improved ways for nurses to manage symptoms is vital to improving patients’ quality of life. Communication of symptoms with nurses is key to symptom management.