Quality of Life Factors for Breast Cancer Survivors

The quality of life (QoL) of breast cancer survivors is said to depend on post-treatment factors and conditions such as physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. Various studies have been carried out to evaluate these factors; they show that increased physical activities and reduced stress and anxiety improved the possibility of a healthy life. Research published on Nature.com takes a survey into several of these factors.

The survey carried out the psychometric analysis, tests of reliability, and validity on 250 female breast cancer survivors at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Oncology (INMOL) hospital, Lahore, Pakistan. The instrument used was based on the previous studies carried out by researchers at the City of Hope National Medical Center – it involved tools evaluating four major domains of well-being (i.e., physical, psychological, social, and spiritual). The interviews were carried out with survivors from January 2020 to December 2020.

The study focused on the following: social-demographic variables (residential area, marital status, family history, and so on), physiological, psychological, and spiritual well-being. It was reported that respondents between 21 and 40 had good physical health, those between 41 to 50 years of age had better psychological health, paying more attention to their spiritual and religious life. At the base were those above 60 years who showed the lowest physical, spiritual and psychological activities.

Results also show that 83% of survivors experienced fatigue physiologically, 75.1% experienced body and headaches, and similar percentages experienced weight loss and sleep problems. Some of them (86.8%) reported distress; 74.4% dealt with various levels of depression and anxiety; 73.2% were afraid of cancer returning.

This survey shows that respondents’ psychological, social and physical factors have distinct effects on their quality of life. This shows that in addition to Breast Cancer Treatment Services, there is a need for well-planned post-treatment for cancer survivors; this could range from clinical care to psychological care to social support as it helped to improve the quality of life and life span of breast cancer survivors.


Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-03696-9 (Subscription may be required)