Identifying Symptom Clusters in Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy using Symptom Occurrence and Distress Dimensions

Mohammad Al Qadire*, Ma’en Aljezawi, Omar Al Omari, Aiah Monther Alatoum, Atika Khalaf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study explored symptom clusters in a heterogenous sample that includes all age groups, and all types of cancer being treated with chemotherapy. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The sample comprise 393 cancer patients with a mean age of 52.1 years (SD 13.9). The most prevalent symptoms were tiredness (78.9%), lack of energy (71.8%), and irritability (66.9%) and the most distressing symptom was lack of appetite. Four clusters of the symptom experience: chemotherapy-related, psychological, fatigue and pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms, regardless of the dimension used, were identified. The content and number of symptoms within each cluster using the distress dimension were slightly different from the occurrence dimension. The findings call for an early comprehensive assessment and treatment of symptoms for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Also, healthcare providers especially nurses need to thoroughly assess and manage these symptoms to ease patients’ experience, enhance their compliance and improve their quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Nursing Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • adult
  • cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • cluster
  • Jordan
  • symptom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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