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Table 3 Interview Response Narrative Examples from Most Common Symptoms and Impact

From: Identifying symptom recurrences in primary brain tumor patients using the MDASI-BT and qualitative interviews

Most Common Symptoms

Patient Response

Fatigue (55%)

“It was terrible, I was just really tired all the time.”

Seizures (50%)

“The seizure is what triggered everything—started everything.”

Pain (50%)

“I had a really bad pain in my neck, back right side—just felt like there’s a lot of pressure on my neck.”

Impact of Symptoms

 Work (56%)

“Well, it affected my work life. At the time, I had the memory problems, I had the GI problem, and we were transitioning from a chairman in our department to a new one. And I needed to be on my toes. I needed to have a good memory. I needed to be there. And that was very, very difficult. So, it put a lot of stress on me because I knew I wasn’t able to be there.”

 Enjoyment of Life (44%)

“I was unable to play with my kids as much as usual. I’m usually a very vibrant person, and it took away from that. I wasn’t able to be myself.”

Group Response Examples


“So, I had grand mal seizures—five of them before I was diagnosed correctly.”


“I’ve gotten some lesser sensation on my left side, so sometimes I drag my left leg and sometimes I kind of walk into walls.”

 During treatment

“The chemo does you so bad. You’re so tired. You’re so fatigued. It just has you so tired.”

 After treatment

“And we knew something was going on, obviously, because I had some seizures before that.”