Prospective Study of Use of Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale Versus Routine Symptom Management During Weekly Radiation Treatment Visits.

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JCO Oncol Pract


washington; walla walla


PURPOSE: During radiotherapy (RT), patient symptoms are evaluated and managed weekly during physician on-treatment visits (OTVs). The Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) is a 9-symptom validated self-assessment tool for reporting common symptoms in patients with cancer. We hypothesized that implementation and physician review of ESAS during weekly OTVs may result in betterment of symptom severity during RT for certain modifiable domains.

METHODS: As an institutional quality improvement project, patients were partitioned into 2 groups: (1) 85 patients completing weekly ESAS (preintervention) but blinded to their providers who gave routine symptom management and (2) 170 completing weekly ESAS (postintervention group) reviewed by providers during weekly OTVs with possible intervention. To determine the independent association with symptom severity of the intervention, multivariate logistic regression was performed. At study conclusion, provider assessments of ESAS utility were also collected.

RESULTS: Compared with the preintervention group, stable or improved symptom severity was seen in the postintervention group for pain (70.7%

CONCLUSION: Incorporation of ESAS for OTVs was associated with stable or improved symptom severity where therapeutic intervention is more readily available, such as counseling, pain medication, anti-emetics, appetite stimulants, and anti-anxiolytics. The incorporation of validated patient-reported symptom-scoring tools may improve provider management.

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