Korean J Adult Nurs.  2011 Oct;23(5):434-445.

Symptom Cluster and Quality of Life in Patients with Breast Cancer undergoing Chemotherapy

  • 1Department of Nursing, Dongyang University, Korea. gdkim@dyu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Nursing, Kimcheon Science College, Korea.


This study was conducted to identify the impact of the symptom cluster of pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression on the quality of life (QOL) among breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
One hundred and thirteen patients were recruited from five hospitals in Korea. The instruments used in this study were the fatigue, depression, sleep disturbance, pain and the quality of life scale for patients with breast cancer. The influence of the symptom cluster on patients' QOL was analyzed by using multiple regression.
Most patients reported a moderate level of pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance and depression. Eighty percent of patients reported three of the four symptoms. Among the four symptoms, there was no correlation between pain and sleep disturbance. Quality of life was negative correlated with the four symptoms in the cluster. Symptom cluster of pain, fatigue, and depression accounted for 51.2% of variance in QOL.
The findings supported that there is a symptom cluster that negatively influences quality of life and needs to be addressed as we are caring for patients and are promoting quality of life.

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