Psychoeducational Nursing Intervention for Symptom Management in Cancer Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Marina de Góes Salvetti, Suzana Cristina Teixeira Donato, Caroline Silva Pereira Machado, Natalia Gondim de Almeida, Daniela Vivas Dos Santos, Geana Paula Kurita


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the effects of a psychoeducational intervention upon symptom control and quality of life (QoL) among cancer patients.

Methods: This was an open randomized clinical trial (RCT) conducted at the Cancer Institute of the State of São Paulo. The RCT comprised 107 outpatients in chemotherapy or radiation for malignant neoplasms. Participants were randomized to control group (usual treatment) or intervention group (IG) (psychoeducational intervention) with assessments at baseline and upon completion of the intervention. Sociodemographic information, clinical data, QoL, functionality, and symptoms were assessed. This trial is registered with the Brazilian Clinical Trials Registry number RBR-9337nv. A mixed-effects model was applied to compare the effects of the intervention between the groups.

Results: The most frequent symptoms were fatigue (76.6%), insomnia (47.7%), pain (42.1%), and loss of appetite (37.4%). The symptom intensity analysis suggests that insomnia was the strongest symptom, followed by fatigue, loss of appetite, and pain. The IG experienced a significant improvement in terms of loss of appetite (P = 0.002) and a tendency toward less insomnia (P = 0.053).

Conclusions: The intervention significantly reduced appetite loss in cancer patients. Despite no effects observed in global QoL or functionality, the intervention yielded a tendency to improve insomnia, and this outcome should be investigated in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia-Pacific journal of oncology nursing
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2021


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