Symptom Burden of Patients with Haematological Malignancy


  • Syeda Subrina Siddika Department of Community Medicine, Mugda Medical College, Mugda, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Md Anisur Rahman Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM), Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • AKM Mynul Islam Department of Hematology, National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital, Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Syeda Tasfia Siddika Department of Physiology, Mugda Medical College, Mugda, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Khursheda Akhtar Department of Community Medicine, Mugda Medical College,Mugda, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Ayesha Siddika Department of Community Medicine, Mugda Medical College,Mugda, Dhaka, Bangladesh



Haematological malignancy, Symptom burden, Symptom distress, Symptom distress stress


Background: Haematological malignancy and its treatment produce multiple symptoms that significantly distress patients and impair function. Symptoms caused by treatment may delay treatment or lead to premature treatment termination and residual treatment-related symptoms often complicate post treatment rehabilitation. When treatment is no longer possible, symptom control becomes the focus of cancer care.

Objectives: The study was aimed to determine the symptom burden of the haematological malignancy patients.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted from July 2015 to June 2016 among the haematological malignancy patients. A total of 316 haematological malignancy adult (age ≥18 years) patients were purposively selected from haematology department of two tertiary level of hospitals in Dhaka city. Face to face interviews were taken from the diagnosed haematological malignancy patients admitted in the hospital and attending outdoor using questionnaire based on symptom distress scale (SDS).

Results: Mean age was 39 years and most of the patients suffering from Acute Leukemia 162(51.3%). Mean monthly family income was around 22235 taka and 120(37.9%) patients were unemployed. Patients with haematological malignancy had a considerable physical and psychological symptom burden which ranged from 94.3% for fatigue to 8.5% for difficulty in concentration. Physical symptoms such as fatigue 127 (40.2%), change in appetite 86 (27.2%), pain1 81 (25.6%), insomnia44 (13.9%) caused severedistress and psychological symptoms include change in appearance 37 (11.7%) and outlook 33 (10.4%) were sever distressing. Significant association (p<0.001) was to be found between occupation and symptom distress where 82 (68.4%) unemployed and 51 (66.3%) housewife had moderate/sever symptom distress. Respondents who managed their treatment expenditure by loan and asset sell 11 (84.6%) had significant(p=0.004) moderate/sever distress. Patients having less than one month of diagnosis 47(72.3%) and admitted in inpatient 114 (66.6%) had significant higher moderate/sever symptom distress(p=0.03) and (p<0.001) respectively.

Conclusion: Patients with haematological malignancy were likely to have multiple symptoms and comprehensive symptom assessment was suggested throughout. The introduction of supportiveor palliative care services during times of increased symptom burden may assist haematologists and other careers in the management of their patient’s distress and quality of life.

Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 2020; 46(3): 196-203


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How to Cite

Siddika, S. S., Rahman, M. A., Islam, A. M., Siddika, S. T., Akhtar, K., & Siddika, A. (2021). Symptom Burden of Patients with Haematological Malignancy. Bangladesh Medical Research Council Bulletin, 46(3), 196–203.



Research Papers