Self-Efficacy Assessment Drives Interventions After SCT in Patients With Hematologic Cancers


Heightened self-efficacy for symptom management (SESM) in patients with hematologic cancers prior to undergoing stem cell transplant (SCT) may be used in improving symptom management and outcomes, according to a study presented at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists 2018 Annual Conference (February 28 - March 3, 2018; Austin, TX).

Previous studies have shown SCT to be associated with debilitating adverse events and symptoms that may reduce patient quality of life and function. Changes in SESM, or a patient’s belief in his or her ability to manage symptoms, and the resulting implications of such changes in the acute phase of SCT are in need of further research.

Lynn White, MSN, RN, Avera McKennan Hospital (Sioux Falls, SD), and colleagues  identified 40 patients with hematologic malignancies who were scheduled to undergo SCT. The patients were evaluated for symptom distress, physical function, and SESM changes at baseline and at days seven, 15, and 30.

Results from the study showed that symptom distress, SESM, and physical function significantly changed over time. At all points in the study, there was a significant negative association observed between physical function and symptom distress, as well as SESM and symptom distress. Day seven showed the highest level of symptom distress with the lowest SESM.


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Additionally, researchers reported that patients experienced fewer symptoms from SCT and had higher physical function when they exhibited a higher SESM. Higher physical function was associated with decreased symptom distress and an improved ability to manage symptoms.

The findings from this study may be useful in improving symptom management and outcomes in patients with hematologic malignancies and can be used to form patient-centered interventions, researchers concluded. “[These interventions] have the potential to improve symptom management and patient outcomes such as functional status, quality of life, and utilization of health care resources,” they added.