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Table 3 Difference in Symptom Frequency and Intensity between Cancer and Non-Cancer Patients

From: A comparison of symptoms in older hospitalised cancer and non-cancer patients in need of palliative care: a secondary analysis of two cross-sectional studies

Frequency Intensity
  Cancer patients (N = 100) Non-Cancer patients (N = 100) Wilcoxon Mann Whitney U-test Cancer patients Non-Cancer patients Wilcoxon Mann Whitney U-test
Median(25–75 IQ) Mean(SD) Median(25–75 IQ) Mean(SD) Z p-value N Median(25–75 IQ) Mean(SD) N Median(25–75 IQ) Mean(SD) Z p-value
Physical
 Lack of appetite 2.0 (0.0–4.0) 1.89 (1.69) 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.48 (1.46) −1.74 0.082 63 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.83 (1.28) 58 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 1.84 (0.97) −0.40 0.692
 Fatigue (physical) 3.0 (2.0–4.0) 2.53 (1.55) 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.30 (1.40) −1.53 0.127 79 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.47 (0.92) 79 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.47 (0.70) −0.87 0.387
 Pain (physical) 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.66 (1.65) 2.0 (0.0–4.0) 1.98 (1.68) −1.39 0.164 55 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.40 (0.76) 64 3.0 (2.3–3.0) 2.69 (0.61) −2.30 0.021
 Lack of energy 3.0 (0.0–4.0) 2.26 (1.69) 3.0 (2.0–4.0) 2.55 (1.49) −0.98 0.325 68 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.43 (0.98) 81 3.0 (3.0–3.0) 2.70 (0.58) −1.47 0.141
 Nausea 0.0 (0.0–1.0) 0.59 (1.01) 0.0 (0.0–1.0) 0.53 (0.96) −0.19 0.851 27 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.41 (0.93) 27 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.30 (0.99) −0.39 0.699
 Sleeplessness 0.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.23 (1.53) 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.61 (1.56) −1.87 0.062 44 3.0 (1.3–3.0) 2.18 (1.02) 60 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.25 (0.97) −0.28 0.781
 Vomiting 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.32 (0.82) 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.42 (0.90) −0.76 0.448 15 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.47 (0.92) 20 3.0 (2.3–3.0) 2.70 (0.57) −0.65 0.514
 Dizziness 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.78 (1.12) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.76 (1.09) −0.05 0.643 36 2.5 (2.0–3.0) 2.17 (1.03) 37 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.14 (0.86) −0.55 0.586
 Heartburn/belching 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.42 (0.93) 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.39 (0.93) −0.46 0.641 21 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 1.90 (1.04) 18 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 1.94 (0.80) −0.13 0.894
 Tingling hand/ft 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.10 (1.61) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.11 (1.56) −0.15 0.883 36 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 2.08 (1.05) 38 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.45 (0.83) −1.59 0.111
 Difficulties concentrating 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.98 (1.48) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.81 (1.13) −0.16 0.874 35 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 2.00 (1.11) 39 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.46 (0.85) −1.88 0.061
 Sore mouth/pain when swallowing 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.50 (1.20) 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.53 (1.11) −0.57 0.566 17 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.47 (0.72) 21 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.38 (0.92) −0.05 0.960
 Shortness of breath 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.59 (1.55) 2.0 (1.0–4.0) 2.34 (1.49) −3.42 0.001 56 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.11 (1.00) 81 3.0 (3.0–3.0) 2.18 (0.95) −4.15 < 0.001
 Dry mouth 3.0 (2.0–4.0) 2.58 (1.35) 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.25 (1.36) −1.85 0.065 85 2.0 (0.5–3.0) 1.86 (1.23) 80 2.5 (1.0–3.0) 2.44 (0.64) −1.49 0.138
 Cough 0.5 (0.0–2.0) 1.09 (1.25) 0.5 (0.0–2.0) 1.18 (1.32) −0.42 0.678 50 2.0 (0.8–3.0) 1.88 (1.22) 50 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.40 (0.89) −1.94 0.052
 Urinary incontinence 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.94 (1.28) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.91 (1.50) −0.81 0.420 40 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.40 (1.01) 30 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.47 (0.84) −0.24 0.811
 Faecal incontinence 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.29 (0.82) 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.48 (1.07) −1.22 0.222 13 3.0 (3.0–3.0) 2.85 (0.38) 19 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 1.86 (1.16) −1.22 0.225
 Itching 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.38 (0.94) 0.0 (0.0–1.0) 0.62 (1.06) −2.07 0.038 16 1.5 (0.3–3.0) 1.69 (1.30) 29 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 2.58 (0.56) −0.45 0.650
 Changes in food tasting 0.0 (0.0–2.5) 0.95 (1.67) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.95 (1.54) −0.47 0.636 25 3.0 (1.5–3.0) 2.36 (1.04) 31 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.48 (0.66) −0.14 0.892
 Airway mucus 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.07 (1.39) 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.46 (1.40) −2.01 0.045 43 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.93 (1.24) 58 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.48 (0.66) −1.82 0.069
 Confusion 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.25 (0.73) 0.0 (0.0–0.8) 0.51 (0.93) −2.46 0.014 11 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 2.09 (1.04) 25 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.48 (0.77) −1.09 0.274
 Constipation 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.22 (1.44) 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.47 (1.50) −1.18 0.239 46 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.33 (1.01) 55 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 2.09 (0.98) −1.44 0.150
 Diarrhoea 0.0 (0.0–1.0) 0.63 (1.17) 0.0 (0.0–1.0) 0.60 (1.09) −0.18 0.860 27 3.0 (1.0–3.0) 2.26 (1.10) 26 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.50 (0.91) −0.69 0.492
 Weight lossa 38 (38.0) 41 (41.0) 0.19 0.664
Psychological
 Fatigue (psychological) 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.54 (1.52) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.96 (1.39) −2.78 0.005 56 3.0 (2.3–3.0) 2.72 (0.57) 38 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.32 (0.66) −3.10 0.002
 Pain (psychological) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.96 (1.37) 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.57 (1.14) −2.16 0.031 36 3.0 (3.0–3.0) 2.72 (0.57) 23 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.43 (0.73) −1.73 0.084
 Brooding 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.49 (1.42) 2.0 (0.0–2.8) 1.48 (1.41) −0.08 0.940 57 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.51 (0.74) 59 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 1.90 (0.90) −3.83 < 0.001
 Depressed mood 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.11 (1.24) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.09 (1.33) −0.29 0.769 49 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.55 (0.68) 46 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.30 (0.70) −1.94 0.053
 Lack of willpower 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.86 (1.22) 2.0 (0.0–3.0) 1.91 (1.51) −5.01 < 0.001 37 2.0 (1.5–3.0) 1.97 (1.07) 70 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.63 (0.57) −3.39 0.001
 Nervousness 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.27 (1.52) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.11 (1.31) −0.55 0.582 48 2.0 (0.3–3.0) 1.90 (1.21) 48 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.00 (0.85) −0.24 0.813
 Tension 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.90 (1.31) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.93 (1.20) −0.47 0.641 36 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.39 (0.84) 42 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.12 (0.63) −2.22 0.026
 Anger 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.55 (1.04) 0.0 (0.0–0.8) 0.51 (0.96) −0.03 0.978 24 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.50 (0.89) 25 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 1.84 (1.14) −2.29 0.022
 Loneliness 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 0.92 (1.26) 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.13 (1.45) −0.94 0.347 39 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.36 (0.87) 44 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.39 (0.75) −0.09 0.931
 Fear 0.0 (0.0–1.0) 0.62 (1.14) 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.37 (0.85) −1.63 0.104 27 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.41 (0.89) 18 2.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.28 (0.67) −1.03 0.305
Functional
 Difficulties with self-care 3.5 (0.0–4.0) 2.32 (1.87) 4.0 (2.0–4.0) 2.89 (1.56) −2.00 0.045 64 1.0 (0.0–2.8) 1.23 (1.27) 82 2.0 (1.0–3.0) 1.67 (1.03) −2.34 0.019
 Difficulties with moving inside 4.0 (0.0–4.0) 1.35 (1.82) 3.0 (1.0–4.0) 2.45 (1.71) −4.64 < 0.001 37 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.46 (0.96) 77 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.38 (0.90) −0.71 0.480
 Difficulties with moving outside 4.0 (0.0–4.0) 2.40 (1.92) 4.0 (3.0–4.0) 3.23 (1.35) −2.71 0.007 62 3.0 (1.0–3.0) 2.05 (1.25) 89 3.0 (2.0–3.0) 2.29 (0.96) −0.87 0.384
Social
 Not feeling supported 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.40 (1.04) 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.33 (0.80) −0.09 0.927 16 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.00 (0.00) 16 0.0 (0.0–0.8) 0.25 (0.45) 0.04 0.239
 Not satisfied with social life 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.04 (1.48) 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.45 (1.00) −3.46 0.001 42 0.0 (0.0–0.3) 0.26 (0.48) 20 0.0 (0.0–0.8) 0.30 (0.57) −0.15 0.880
Existential
 Experiencing life as not meaningful 0.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.21 (1.54) 2.0 (0.0–2.0) 1.35 (1.22) −1.28 0.201 46 0.0 (0.0–0.0) 0.15 (0.42) 53 0.0 (0.0–1.0) 0.53 (0.62) −3.75 < 0.001
  1. aWeight loss is a dichotomous variable. The number of patients reporting the symptom with its percentage are reported. Difference between groups was measured using the Chi-square test