Measuring psychosocial symptoms in hospice and palliative care research is critical to understanding the patient and caregiver experience. Subjective patient-reported outcome tools have been the primary method for collecting these data in palliative care, and the growing field of biobehavioral research offers new tools that could deepen our understanding of psychosocial symptomatology. Here we describe one psychosocial biomarker, heart rate variability (HRV), and simple techniques for measurement in an adolescent and young adult cancer population that are applicable to palliative care studies. Complementing self-reported measures with objective biomarkers like HRV could facilitate a more nuanced understanding of physiologic and perceived well-being in patients with serious or life-limiting illness and inform future ‘precision supportive care’ in hospice and palliative medicine.

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Journal: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2021 Apr 29

Keywords: biomarker, cancer, heart rate variability, palliative care, psychosocial,

Applications: HRV,

CamNtech Reference: AH21023

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