Changes in symptom patterns and health-related quality of life of cancer patients before and after chemotherapy

Hsueh Wen Chung, Li Yin Chien, Sheng Miauh Huang, Chen Jeng Tai, Chen Jei Tai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Symptom patterns are an important diagnostic concept in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Although symptom patterns and health related quality of life (HRQOL) are common diagnostic measures for cancer patients, the association between them has not been studied. This study aimed to describe the changes in the pattern of symptoms of Yang-deficiency, Yin-deficiency, blood stasis, and HRQOL before and after chemotherapy, and to examine the association between the patterns and the cancer patients' HRQOL.

METHODS: A panel study was undertaken with 123 cancer patients who were about to begin their first course of chemotherapy at four teaching hospitals in Taiwan. A structured questionnaire was used before and after chemotherapy. HRQOL was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Survey Short-Form 36. The Traditional Chinese Medical Constitutional Scale was used to measure Yang-deficiency, Yin-deficiency, and blood stasis patterns, with higher scores indicating a larger deficiency.

RESULTS: The patients had significantly worse scores for Yang-deficient pattern, Yin-deficiency pattern, blood stasis pattern, and the physical components of HRQOL after chemotherapy compared with before chemotherapy. The HRQOL scores correlated significantly with Yang-deficiency, Yin-deficiency, and the blood stasis pattern scores. A generalized estimating equation model showed that the HRQOL scores were significantly worse after chemotherapy compared with before chemotherapy for the physical component, but not for the mental component. Blood stasis pattern was significantly associated with a decreased HRQOL in both the physical and mental components. A hemoglobin level < 12 g/dL was associated with a worse physical component of HRQOL.

CONCLUSION: The Yang-deficiency, Yin-deficiency, and blood stasis patterns were all associated with lower HRQOL in cancer patients after chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-331
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of traditional Chinese medicine = Chung i tsa chih ying wen pan / sponsored by All-China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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