A Pilot Mixed-Methods Study of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms

Suzanne L. Walker

Victoria Vaughan Dickson

Pamela Z. Cacchione

LCSS-Meso, mixed methods, symptoms, malignant pleual mesothelioma
ONF 2022, 49(6), 615-623. DOI: 10.1188/22.ONF.615-623

Objectives: To describe symptoms of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a rare cancer associated with a poor prognosis and significant symptoms, via a pilot mixed-methods study, because it is unclear whether MPM symptom assessment tools accurately characterize these symptoms.

Sample & Setting: Participants with MPM were recruited from a large northeastern U.S. academic medical center with an interprofessional MPM program.

Methods & Variables: A mixed-methods pilot approach was employed using the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale for Mesothelioma (LCSS-Meso) to quantitatively describe MPM symptoms and semistructured interviews to qualitatively capture these symptoms.

Results: Seven participants with MPM completed the LCSS-Meso and qualitative interviews. The five symptoms evaluated by the LCSS-Meso were confirmed as symptoms of MPM in participant interviews. However, the presence and severity of some symptoms were either under- or overestimated by the scale. Two additional symptoms, distress and sleep disturbance, also emerged from the qualitative interviews.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses caring for people with MPM should have a thorough understanding of common symptoms, but they must also explore additional symptoms that are meaningful to each patient.

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