Skip to main content

Advertisement

Table 3 Relationship between symptom intensity and unbearability in the domains of loss of function, personal aspects, environment, nature and prognosis of disease (n = 60)

From: Symptoms, unbearability and the nature of suffering in terminal cancer patients dying at home: a prospective primary care study

  Symptom present %*(n) Symptom high intensity %* (n) High intensity and unbearable %*(n) Percentage unbearable when high intensity % symptom low intensity %*(n) Low intensity and unbearable %*(n) Percentage unbearable when low intensity % Symptom unbearable %*(n)
Domain II: Loss of function         
Impaired routine daily activities 83 (50) 58 (35) 48 (29) 83 25 (15) 7 (4) 27 55 (33)
Impaired leisure activities 82 (49) 60 (36) 48 (29) 81 22 (13) 2 (1) 8 50 (30)
Help needed with housekeeping 71 (42) 54 (32) 39 (23) 72 17 (10) 3 (2) 20 42 (25)
Help needed with self-care 60 (36) 27 (16) 15 (9) 56 33 (20) 7 (4) 20 22 (13)
Bedridden 56 (33) 32 (19) 24 (14) 74 24 (14) 8 (5) 36 32 (19)
Impaired working capacity 17 (10) 17 (10) 12 (7) 70 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 12 (7)
Impaired sexual functioning 14 (8) 12 (7) 5 (3) 43 2 (1) 0 (0) 0 5 (3)
Domain III: Personal aspects         
Feeling dependent on others 80 (48) 50 (30) 37 (22) 73 30 (18) 8 (5) 28 45 (27)
Not able to do things you consider important 63 (36) 26 (15) 23 (13) 87 37 (21) 19 (11) 52 42 (24)
Trouble accepting the present situation 60 (36) 30 (18) 25 (15) 83 30 (18) 8 (5) 28 33 (20)
Feeling a nuisance to others 38 (23) 5 (3) 3 (2) 67 33 (20) 10 (6) 30 13 (8)
Negative thoughts or worrying 32 (19) 12 (7) 8 (5) 71 20 (12) 7 (4) 33 15 (9)
Loss of control over your own life 30 (18) 22 (13) 20 (12) 92 8 (5) 7 (4) 80 27 (16)
Feeling not any longer being the same person 28 (17) 8 (5) 8 (5) 100 20 (12) 2 (1) 8 10 (6)
Hopelessness 28 (17) 7 (4) 7 (4) 100 21 (13) 6 (4) 31 13 (8)
Experienced little happiness with family/friends 22 (13) 5 (3) 0 (0) 0 17 (10) 8 (5) 50 8 (5)
Feelings of worthlessness 22 (13) 10 (6) 8 (5) 83 12 (7) 2 (1) 14 10 (6)
Feeling lonely (intrapersonal) 20 (12) 5 (3) 3 (2) 67 15 (9) 7 (4) 44 10 (6)
Feeling of no longer being important to others 18 (11) 5 (3) 5 (3) 100 13 (8) 3 (2) 25 8 (5)
Feeling tired of life 17 (10) 5 (3) 5 (3) 100 12 (7) 4 (2) 29 9 (5)
Not satisfied with own self 12 (7) 5 (3) 5 (3) 100 7 (4) 2 (1) 25 7 (4)
Feelings of guilt 12 (7) 2 (1) 2 (1) 100 10 (6) 3 (2) 33 5 (3)
Experienced little success in life 10 (6) 2 (1) 0 (0) 0 8 (5) 2 (1) 20 2 (1)
Lived a life with little purpose 8 (5) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 8 (5) 2 (2) 40 3 (2)
Domain IV: Environment         
Relatives consider your suffering too severe 33 (19) 10 (6) 9 (5) 83 23 (13) 7 (4) 31 16 (9)
Practical loneliness (no one present for you) 15 (9) 8 (5) 8 (5) 100 7 (4) 4 (2) 50 12 (7)
Insufficient availability of care 12 (7) 2 (1) 0 (0) 0 10 (6) 8 (5) 83 8 (5)
Unsatisfactory social contacts 8 (5) 2 (1) 2 (1) 100 6 (4) 1 (1) 25 3 (2)
Insufficient support (family, relatives) 5 (3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 5 (3) 2 (1) 33 2 (1)
Shame 2 (1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 2 (1) 2 (1) 100 2 (1)
Domain V: Nature and prognosis of disease         
Fear of future suffering 40 (24) 15 (9) 14 (8) 89 25 (15) 3 (2) 13 17 (10)
Fear of future failing strength to bear suffering 25 (15) 8 (5) 8 (5) 100 17 (10) 2 (1) 10 10 (6)
  1. Rounded percentages and absolute numbers; 0 to 3 missing observations per symptom. Impaired working capacity applied for 10 persons.
  2. Scoring: 1-not at all; 2-slightly; 3-moderately; 4-seriously; 5-very seriously, hardly can be worse.
  3. Symptom present: intensity scores 2–5.
  4. Low intensity: scores 1–3; High intensity: scores 4–5; Bearable suffering: scores 1–3; Unbearable suffering: scores 4–5.
  5. *: percentage of interviewed patients.
  6. n: number of patients.