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Psychooncology. 2003 Mar;12(2):183-93.

Psychosocial and demographic predictors of quality of life in a large sample of cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. pparker@mdanderson.org

Abstract

In recent years, there has been increasing emphasis on understanding how the cancer experience affects individuals' quality of life (QOL). The goal of this study was to assess the QOL and to identify psychosocial predictors of QOL among a large sample of patients with a variety of cancers. Specifically, we assessed the unique contribution of demographic variables, medical variables, and social support on patients' QOL and psychological adjustment. Three hundred and fifty-one participants completed measures of social support, depression, anxiety, and QOL at their follow-up medical visits. Analyses indicated that patients who were older and had better social support reported less anxiety (p<0.001), and patients who were older, married or who had more social support reported less depressive symptoms (p<0.01). Men, individuals whose cancer had not recurred, and those not undergoing active treatment reported better QOL in the physical health domain (p<0.05). Patients who were older, married, with more formal education, less advanced disease, and better social support reported better QOL in the mental health domain (p<0.05). Demographic variables (age, gender, marital status, education) were generally associated with measures of adjustment and QOL whereas medical variables (time since diagnosis, recurrence status, treatment variables, stage of disease) were not. Patients with more support reported less anxiety and depression and better QOL in the mental health domain, independent of demographic and medical variables. Assessing patients' level of social support may help to identify patients at risk for distress.

Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID:
12619150
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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