Background & aims: Glioma patients experience a multitude of symptoms that negatively affect their health-related quality of life. Symptoms vary greatly across disease phases, and the patients' stable phase might be particularly suitable for assessing and treating symptoms. Identifying symptoms and patients' needs is a first step toward improving patient care. In glioma patients with stable disease, we assessed the frequency and burden of patient-reported symptoms, examined how these symptoms co-occur, and also determined whether patients would consider treatment to ameliorate specific symptoms. Methods: In this retrospective study, patients rated the frequency and burden of seventeen symptoms on a seven-point Likert scale and stated whether they would consider treatment for these symptoms. Correlations between frequency, burden, and considering treatment were evaluated with Kendall's Tau correlation coefficients. Based on partial correlations between symptom frequencies we visualized the symptoms as a network. Results: Fifty-two glioma patients with stable disease were included (31 WHO grade II/III, 21 WHO grade IV). The top five symptoms were fatigue, memory problems, reduced physical fitness, concentration problems, and drowsiness. Fatigue had the highest median frequency (4.5, interquartile range 2.5). Over half of the patients experienced three or more symptoms simultaneously and associations between all symptoms were depicted as a network. Overall, 35% of patients would consider treatment for at least one symptom. The wish to undergo symptom treatment correlated only moderately with symptom frequency and burden (range of correlations 0.24–0.57 and 0.28–0.61, respectively). Conclusion: Glioma patients with stable disease experience multiple symptoms with a consequently high symptom burden. Despite the high prevalence of symptoms, the inclination for symptom management interventions was relatively low. The most frequent and burdensome symptoms and the way they are interrelated could serve as a roadmap for future research on symptom management in these patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13278
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • Anxiety
  • Brain neoplasms
  • Cognition
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Patient reported outcome measures
  • Psychosocial intervention
  • Quality of life
  • Stable phase
  • Symptom burden

Cite this