Caring for Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Erin Elizabeth Elphee

Patient education, symptom management, lymphocytic
CJON 2008, 12(3), 417-423. DOI: 10.1188/08.CJON.417-423

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most commonly diagnosed form of leukemia in the Western world, accounting for approximately 20%-30% of all cases of leukemia. Despite recent medical and scientific advances, the literature on the subjective experience and nursing care of patients diagnosed with CLL remains scarce and sporadic. This article provides a brief overview on the pathophysiology, clinical characteristics, and treatment options of CLL with focus placed on implications for nursing care. Fatigue, the most common symptom reported by patients, and infection, the leading cause of disease-related deaths, also will be addressed. Emerging data examining quality of life and the incidence of anxiety and depression in this patient population will be reviewed, and strategies aimed at addressing the educational needs of patients and family members will be discussed.

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