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Table 4 Development of intensity and unbearability of symptoms between the pre-final and final interview in patients with at least two interviews (n = 33)*

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

  Symptom in high intensity† Symptom unbearable†
  Pre-final interview % (n) Final interview % (n) Difference pre-final and final interview % (95% CI) ‡ Pre-final interview % (n) Final interview % (n) Difference pre-final and final interview % (95% CI) ‡
Domain I: Medical symptoms       
Weakness 36 (12) 55(18) −18 (−29 to 3) 33 (11) 64(21) −30 (−41 to −6)
General discomfort 9 (3) 27(9) −18 (−19 to −1) 25 (8) 42(14) - 16 (−33 to 9)
Tiredness 39 (13) 55(18) −15 (−29 to 7) 42 (14) 42(14) 0 (−16 to 16)
Loss of appetite 27 (9) 18(6) 9 (−11 to 23) 27 (9) 36(12) −9 (−26 to 13)
Pain 24 (8) 21(7) 3 (−11 to 14) 24 (8) 27(9) −3 (−20 to 16)
Not sleeping well 12 (4) 6(2) 6 (−10 to 17) 9 (3) 24(8) −15 (−26 to 5)
Changed appearance 30 (10) 42(14) −12 (−29 to 11) 30 (10) 24(8) 6 (−12 to20)
Shortness of breath 6 (2) 21(7) −15 (−15 to 0) 12 (4) 21(7) −9 (−23 to 11)
Vomiting 3 (1) 12(4) −9 (−9 to 4) 9 (3) 18(6) −9 (−15 to 7)
Impaired co-ordination 12 (4) 12(4) 0 (−14 to 14) 24 (8) 18(6) 6 (−16 to 25)
Loss of concentration 21 (7) 9(3) 12 (−5 to 18) 16 (5) 18(6) −3 (−18 to 14)
Memory loss 15 (5) 9(3) 6 (−7 to 12) 19 (6) 18(6) 0 (−11 to 11)
Incomprehensible speech 3 (1) 12(4) −9 (−15 to 7) 9 (3) 9(3) 0 (−11 to 11)
Domain II: Loss of function       
Impaired routine daily activities 49 (16) 67(22) −18 (−35 to 7) 55 (18) 61(20) −6 (−27 to 18)
Impaired leisure activities 49 (16) 64(21) −15 (−26 to 5) 42 (14) 52(17) −9 (−15 to 6)
Help needed with housekeeping 39 (13) 55(18) −15 (−29 to 7) 42 (14) 39(13) 3 (−16 to 10)
Bedridden 12 (4) 36(12) −24 (−30 to −5) 18 (6) 36(12) −18 (−24 to 1)
Help needed with self-care 6 (2) 27(9) −21 (−27 to −1) 15 (5) 30(10) −15 (−25 to 5)
Domain III: Personal aspects       
Not able to do important things 39 (13) 31(10) 9 (−11 to 24) 39 (13) 55(18) −15 (−26 to 5)
Feeling dependant on others 33 (11) 55(18) −21 (−32 to 1) 39 (13) 52(17) −11 (−23 to 8)
Trouble accepting situation 21 (7) 36(12) −15 (−26 to 5) 27 (9) 39(13) −12 (−26 to 9)
Loss of control over own life 9 (3) 21(7) −12 (−23 to 7) 16 (5) 30(10) −13 (−23 to 8)
Negative thoughts or worrying 12 (4) 16(5) −3 (−14 to 11) 18 (6) 18(6) 0 (−17 to 17)
Domain IV: Environment       
Relatives: suffering to severe 9 (3) 9(3) 0** 12 (4) 15(5) −3 (−9 to 7)
Domain V: Nature and prognosis of disease       
Fear of future suffering 9 (3) 12(4) −3 (−14 to 11) 13 (4) 12(4) 0 (−11 to 11)
Overall unbearable suffering     13 (4) 33(11) −20 (−27 to 1)
  1. * Selection of most frequent unbearable symptoms: symptoms which were unbearable (score 4 or 5) in at least 15% (9 patients) in the last interview for all patients with at least one interview; between 0–2 missing observations per symptom; three missing observations for overall unbearable suffering.
  2. † High intensity: score 4 or 5 for intensity according to SOS-V; unbearable: score 4 or 5 for unbearability according to SOS-V.
  3. ‡ 95% confidence intervals calculated taking into account that results for pre-final and final interview are paired per patient; significant outcomes (0 outside of confidence interval) presented in bold.
  4. ** calculation of 95% CI not possible because scores are identical between pre-final and final interview for each patient.