Symptom distress changes during first postoperative month in newly diagnosed Taiwanese breast cancer patients: A longitudinal study

Shu-Yi Wang, Ching Wen Lee, Yue Cune Chang, Chia Chin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this longitudinal study was to explore changes in symptom distress in newly diagnosed Taiwanese breast cancer patients during the initial 4-week postoperative period. The research instruments, including a demographic questionnaire and the Symptom Distress Scale, were used to obtain data on postoperative day 2 and at weeks 2, 3, and 4. In total, 39 patients with a mean age of 48 years participated in this study. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t tests, one-way ANOVA, and repeated-measures ANOVA. Results revealed that the level of symptom distress significantly decreased from postoperative day 2 to week 4. Loss of appetite and a poor outlook increased; nausea frequency, fatigue, and insomnia decreased then increased; and frequency and the level of pain, coughing, tightness/tenderness in the chest wall, weakness, and numbness in the arm of the operative side all decreased over the 4-week study period. Age, stage of disease, and type of surgery were all related to symptom distress. Results of this study may provide reassurances about what can be expected after breast cancer surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005



  • Breast cancer
  • Breast operation
  • Longitudinal study
  • Symptom distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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