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Finalising the administration of co-SSPedi, a dyad approach to symptom screening for paediatric patients receiving cancer treatments
  1. Deborah Tomlinson1,
  2. Tal Schechter2,
  3. Mark Mairs1,
  4. Robyn Loves1,
  5. Daniel Herman2,
  6. Emily Hopkins2,
  7. L Lee Dupuis3,4 and
  8. Lillian Sung1,2
  1. 1Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Division of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Deborah Tomlinson, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada; deborah.tomlinson{at}sickkids.ca

Abstract

Objectives Symptom Screening in Pediatrics Tool (SSPedi) is a validated self-report symptom screening tool for patients with cancer 8–18 years of age. Co-SSPedi is a novel dyad approach in which both child and parent complete SSPedi together. The objective was to finalise the approach to co-SSPedi administration with instruction that is easy to understand, resulting in dyads completing co-SSPedi correctly.

Method We enrolled child and parent dyads, who understood English and where children (4–18 years) had cancer or were hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients. We provided each dyad with instruction on how to complete co-SSPedi together. Mixed methods were used to determine how easy or hard the instruction was to understand. Two raters adjudicated if co-SSPedi was completed correctly. Dyads were enrolled in cohorts of 12 evenly divided by age (4–7, 8–10, 11–14 and 15–18 years).

Results We enrolled 5 cohorts of 12 dyads, resulting in 60 dyads. Following verbal instruction provided in the first cohort, we identified the need for written instruction emphasising children should wait for parent response prior to entering scores. The instruction was iteratively refined based on qualitative feedback until the fifth cohort, where all 12 dyads found the instruction easy to understand and completed co-SSPedi correctly.

Conclusions We developed a standard approach to dyad symptom screening named co-SSPedi with instruction that is easy to understand, resulting in correct co-SSPedi completion. Future efforts should focus on co-SSPedi validation and understanding how co-SSPedi scores compare to self- or proxy-reported symptom reporting.

  • supportive care
  • paediatrics
  • symptoms and symptom management

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. All additional data are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. All additional data are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors participated in the study. DT, TS, MM, RL, LLD and LS made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work. All authors made substantial contributions to the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data. DT, MM, LLD and LS drafted the manuscript. All authors revised it critically for important intellectual content. All authors approved the version to be published; agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding LS is supported by the Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Oncology Supportive Care. The study was funded by a Pitblado grant from the Garron Family Cancer Centre.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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