Research on symptom distress experienced by patients with end-stage liver disease at the end of life is limited. The aims of the study were to describe presence, frequency, severity, and distress of symptoms in patients with end-stage liver disease toward the end of life and to describe the variability in psychological and physical symptom distress between and within patients over time. This study used a prospective, longitudinal descriptive design. Data were collected from 20 patients once a month for up to 6 months. Participants completed the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale, which reports a total score, a Global Distress Index score, and a psychological and a physical distress score. Patients reported lack of energy, pain, difficulty sleeping, and feeling drowsy as the most frequent, severe, and distressing symptoms. Global Distress Index mean scores (measured on a 1-4 scale) ranged from 2.6 to 2.9 across time. There was notable variability in psychological and physical distress scores between and within patients across time. Gaining knowledge about the prevalent symptoms experienced by patients with end-stage liver disease and the trajectory of these symptoms is crucial for designing interventions that optimize well-being in patients with end-stage liver disease as they are approaching death.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing