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Comparison of Fatigue, Pain, and Depression in Patients With Advanced Kidney Disease and Cancer-Symptom Burden and Clusters.

Jhamb M, Abdel-Kader K, Yabes J, Wang Y, Weisbord SD, Unruh M, Steel JL. Comparison of Fatigue, Pain, and Depression in Patients With Advanced Kidney Disease and Cancer-Symptom Burden and Clusters. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2019 Mar 1; 57(3):566-575.e3.

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CONTEXT: Although symptom clusters have been studied in the context of cancer, few data exist in chronic and end-stage kidney disease (CKD/ESKD) patients. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to 1) characterize and compare symptom cluster phenotypes in patients with advanced CKD, ESKD, and cancer and 2) explore predictors of symptom clusters. METHODS: We conducted secondary data analysis of three prospective studies in which pain, depression, and fatigue were assessed in patients with Stage 4-5 CKD, ESKD, and gastrointestinal cancer. Tetrachoric correlations between these symptoms were quantified, and partitioning around medoids algorithm was used for symptom cluster analysis. RESULTS: In the 82 CKD, 149 ESKD, and 606 cancer patients, no differences in the average fatigue (P  =  0.17) or pain levels (P  =  0.21) were observed. Over 80% of patients in each group had at least one symptom. Moderate or severe depressive symptoms were more common in patients with cancer (31% vs. 19% in ESKD vs. 9% in CKD; P  <  0.001). Mild-moderate correlations were observed between the three symptoms in ESKD and cancer patients. Three distinct clusters were observed in each group. In ESKD, the HIGH cluster (with high probability of pain, depression, and fatigue) had higher body mass index (P  <  0.001) and antidepressant use (P  =  0.01). In cancer patients, the HIGH cluster patients were more likely to be female (P  =  0.04), use antidepressants (P  =  0.04), and have lower serum albumin (P  <  0.001) and hemoglobin (P  =  0.03) compared to the other two clusters. CONCLUSION: Although the burden of fatigue, pain, and depressive symptoms for CKD and ESKD patients is similar to patients with gastrointestinal cancer, symptom cluster phenotypes differed between the groups as did the predictors of symptom clusters.

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