The Effects of the Continuous Care Model on Sleep Quality, Pain, Fatigue and Nausea among Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy: A Clinical Trial

Document Type : Original Article



Background: Patients with breast cancer (BC) suffer from sleep disorders, pain, fatigue, and nausea after receiving chemotherapy. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the effects of the continuous care model (CCM) on sleep quality, pain, fatigue, and nausea among patients with BC who were receiving chemotherapy. Methods: This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 78 patients with BC who referred in April–June 2013 to the chemotherapy clinic of Ahvaz University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran. Initially, patients were paired with each other respecting their age, type of surgery, and educational level, and then through tossing a coin, one patient in each pair was randomly allocated to the intervention and the other to the control group. The CCM was used for care provision to patients in the intervention group, while care services were provided to patients in the control group through routine methods. Data were collected 4 days after chemotherapy onset and 2 months after the intervention using a demographic questionnaire, a visual analog scale for nausea assessment, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Brief Fatigue Inventory, and a 10‑cm ruler for pain assessment. For data analysis, the independent‑sample t and the Chi‑square tests were used. Results: Before the intervention, the groups did not significantly differ from each other concerning the scores of sleep quality, fatigue, pain, and nausea (P > 0.05). However, after the intervention, between‑group differences of the intervention group and the controls were statistically significant for sleep quality (7.81 ± 4.50 vs. 16.80 ± 4.32, P < 0.0001), fatigue (36.23 ± 15.60 vs. 61.00 ± 12.32, P < 0.0001), pain (2.90 ± 2.82 vs. 6.81 ± 2.31, P < 0.0001), and nausea (2.16 ± 2.90 vs. 5.2 ± 2.93, P < 0.0001). Conclusion: This study proves the positive effects of the CCM on sleep quality, pain, fatigue, and nausea among patients with BC. Nurses can use this model to improve the patient outcomes.