Comparison of subgroups of breast cancer patients on pain and co-occurring symptoms following chemotherapy

Dale J. Langford, Steven M. Paul, Bruce Cooper, Kord M. Kober, Judy Mastick, Michelle Melisko, Jon D. Levine, Fay Wright, Marilyn J. Hammer, Frances Cartwright, Kathryn A. Lee, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purposes of this study, in a sample of women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy (CTX), were to identify subgroups of women with distinct experiences with the symptom cluster of pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depressive symptoms and evaluate differences in demographic and clinical characteristics, differences in psychological symptoms, and differences in pain characteristics among these subgroups. Methods: Patients completed symptom questionnaires in the week following CTX administration. Latent class profile analysis (LCPA) was used to determine the patient subgroups. Results: Three subgroups were identified: 140 patients (35.8 %) in the “low,” 189 patients (48.3 %) in the “moderate,” and 62 patients (15.9 %) in the “all high” latent class. Patients in the all high class had a lower functional status, a higher comorbidity profile, a higher symptom burden, and a poorer quality of life. Conclusions: Study findings provide evidence of the utility of LCPA to explain inter-individual variability in the symptom experience of patients undergoing CTX. The ability to characterize subgroups of patients with distinct symptom experiences allows for the identification of high-risk patients and may guide the design of targeted interventions that are tailored to an individual’s symptom profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-614
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Latent class profile analysis
  • Pain
  • Quality of life
  • Sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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