Purpose/objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe differences in occurrence, frequency, intensity, and distress of symptoms prior to (T1) and one week following (T2) the administration of intravenous chemotherapy. Design: Longitudinal, descriptive. Settings: Two regional children's cancer centers in the Pacific Northwest. Sample: A total of 51 adolescents 10 to 19 years old receiving cancer chemotherapy. Methods: Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS 7-12). Findings: No significant differences were found in symptom occurrence rates between T1 and T2. Fatigue was the only symptom with significantly greater frequency and intensity, and nausea was the only symptom with significantly greater distress at T2 compared with T1. Conclusions: Adolescents receiving chemotherapy experience multiple symptoms that persist over time. Implications for nursing: In monitoring for symptoms, nurses need to be aware of the extent to which symptoms are present throughout treatment, as evidenced by these findings that symptom occurrence was significant even prior to receiving a subsequent course of chemotherapy.
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