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The PERSONS Score: A New Tool For Cancer Patients’ Symptom Assessment In Simultaneous Care And Home Care Settings

Alessio Cortellini, Giampiero Porzio, Vincenza Cofini, Stefano Necozione, Alessandro Parisi, Flaminia Peris, Giulio Ravoni, Giuseppe Spinelli, Eva K. Masel, Anna S. Berghoff, Corrado Ficorella, Lucilla Verna

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AbstractBackgroundScientific societies recommend early interaction between oncologic and supportive care, but there is still a lack of systematic evaluations regarding symptoms from the perspective of oncologists.Patients and methodsThe aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the PERSONS score, in both “simultaneous care” and “supportive care” settings using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) as a comparator.ResultsFrom November 2017 to April 2018, 67 and 110 consecutive patients were enrolled in outpatient and home care cohorts, respectively. The final study population comprised 163 patients. There were no significant changes over time in the total PERSONS scores and total ESAS scale. The intra-interviewer reliability (ICC2,1) and inter-interviewer reliability (ICC2,k) showed good reproducibility (test-retest) in each group of patients: 0.60 (0.49–0.70) and 0.82 (0.75–0.87), respectively, for the home care patients and 0.73 (0.62–0.81) and 0.89 (0.83–0.93), respectively, for the outpatient cohort. There were high correlations between PERSONS and ESAS, both at the baseline and final assessments. The mean PERSONS and ESAS scores between the home care patients and outpatients were not different at the baseline and final assessments. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve for the PERSONS total score revealed good diagnostic ability. Area under the curve (AUC) was 0.825 and 0.805 for improvement and deterioration, respectively.ConclusionsThe PERSONS score is an easy to apply tool for symptom assessment. Importantly, the PERSONS score showed high concordance with the established ESAS scale and, therefore, provides an alternative for everyday use in supportive care assessment.