Is There a Biological Basis for the Clustering of Symptoms?

Christine Miaskowski, Bradley E. Aouizerat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To examine symptom clusters in oncology patients; to determine if these symptom clusters might share a common biologic mechanism; and to describe potential biologic mechanisms that warrant investigation. Data Sources: Synthesis of the theoretical and research papers on symptom clusters. Conclusion: Definitive conclusions about whether there is a biologic basis for the clustering of symptoms cannot be determined at this time. The animal model of sickness behavior holds promise as a potential biologic mechanism for clustering symptoms. Implications for Nursing Practice: Until more definitive studies of symptom clusters are performed, clinicians need to monitor patients for the co-occurrence of multiple symptoms and develop appropriate management plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Oncology Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Symptom clusters
  • cluster analysis
  • mechanisms
  • symptom assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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