Exploring the Relationship Between Docetaxel-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors

Friday, 28 July 2017

You-Wun Jheng, MS, RN
Ya-Jung Wang, PhD, RN
Chih-Jung Wu, MS, RN
School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan

Purpose:  Docetaxel is benefit breast cancer survival demonstrated by numerous randomized trials. Docetaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy (DIPN) is one of side effects which is not easy to be aware and negatively influences women’s physical, psychological, social status and quality of life (QOL). There are many studies to survey the phenomenon of peripheral neuropathy in other countries, but it’s no study investigating its impact on Taiwanese women with breast cancer. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the distribution and relationship among peripheral neuropathy and QOL in women with breast cancer after docetaxel treatment.

Methods:  This study utilized a cross-sectional study design and purposive sampling. Women with breast cancer received at least one treatment with docetaxel were recruited in this study from a medical center in northern Taiwan. Instruments included Patient Neurotoxicity Questionnaire, Total Neuropathy Score-clinical version, and Functional Assessment for Cancer Treatment-Breast and Taxane. The data were analyzed utilizing mean, standard deviation, frequency, percentage, independent-samples t test, one-way ANOVA, Chi-square test, and Pearson correlation.

Results:  The average age of 111 subjects was 50.78 years. The TIPN subjective measure found sensory and motor symptoms were 67.6% and 62.2%, respectively. Nearly half of the participants were with slight symptoms but only 4.5 to 7.2% of them were with a severe degree. The objective method indicated that 82.9% had peripheral neuropathy. Moreover, two of the most common symptoms were the deterioration of sensation on pinprick and vibration tests. PNQ sensory and motor scores were significantly higher in patients are undergoing docetaxel therapy compared to therapy has been completed. Women were keep exercise more than three times a week who got TNSc higher scores. There was a positive correlation between subjective and objective DIPN (rho=0.495, p<0.001), a negative correlation between subjective DIPN and quality of life (rho=-0.552, p=0.001), and then a negative correlation between objective DIPN and quality of life (rho=-0.407, p<0.001).

Conclusion:  Women with breast cancer after docetaxel treatment induced peripheral neuropathy negatively affected QOL. Oncology nurses are expected to have skills utilizing the TIPN subjective and objective tools to early detect and timely manage the DIPN. Therefore, the quality of life in this population is able to be advanced.