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clinical management, distress, hematologic malignancy, symptom management



  1. Albrecht, Tara A. PhD, ACNP-BC
  2. Rosenzweig, Margaret PhD, FNP, AOCNP


Patients with hematologic malignancies often require urgent, aggressive, and lengthy chemotherapy treatment. These treatment regimens, divided into cycles, result in extended, often isolating periods of hospitalization where any direct clinical benefit for the patient, such as remission or "no evidence of disease," is not immediately declared. Consequently, this population is at a high risk of experiencing severe levels of cancer-related distress. Cancer-related distress is a complex psychosocial phenomenon that has consequences for patients, their families, and the healthcare staff. Thus, the importance of prevention, early recognition, treatment, and management is unquestionable. Nurses have an important role to help identify and manage the presence of cancer-related distress in these patients, as well as their family's. Nurses should work proactively in close partnership with an interdisciplinary team to effectively provide the necessary support for patients experiencing or who are at risk for high levels of cancer-related distress. This case study and subsequent discussion illustrate the symptom management needs and challenges related to cancer-related distress in the patient with a hematologic malignancy. Current evidence-based practice guidelines for the assessment and management of cancer-related distress will be presented.