The temporal stability of the Symptom Index among women at high-risk for ovarian cancer.Gynecol Oncol. 2009 Aug; 114(2):225-30.GO
To evaluate the temporal stability of self-reported symptoms known to be associated with ovarian cancer.
This report is a longitudinal analysis of symptom reporting from 123 women who participated in the Seattle-based Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Study (OCEDS). The OCEDS population includes women at increased risk of ovarian cancer based on a family history of cancer or a BRCA I/II mutation. Data on symptoms were collected at two time points using a Symptoms Index that included abdominal pain, pelvic pain, feeling full quickly, inability to eat normally, abdominal bloating, and increased abdominal size.
There was a median of 101 days between the two time points, with a range of 72-332 days. The median age of the women was 51, with a range of 32-79 years. Abdominal bloating was the most commonly reported symptom at both time points. The symptom least commonly reported at the two time points was inability to eat normally. The Symptoms Index was negative at both time points for 86% of all women and positive at both time points for 2% of all women. There were no statistically significant patterns of change for symptom reporting between time points.
The Symptoms Index and women's report of abdominal pain, pelvic pain, feeling full quickly, unable to eat normally, abdominal bloating, increased abdominal size were stable between two time points in this sample. These findings provide evidence that longitudinal measurements of symptoms reporting by women in a screening study are likely to be reliable.