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Gynecol Oncol. 1995 Nov;59(2):231-42.

Quality of life of women with ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The primary objectives of this study were to determine the nature and extent of physical problems and psychological distress experienced by women with ovarian cancer and to identify medical and sociodemographic factors that were predictive of distress. Quality of life was assessed at 3-month intervals, for a maximum of 12 months in 151 ovarian cancer patients, most with advanced-stage disease (86%). Patients' pain, other physical symptoms, level of physical functioning, psychological state, and social functioning were evaluated using the following measures: a detailed pain questionnaire, Memorial Pain Assessment Card, Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale, Mental Health Inventory (MHI), Functional Living Index--Cancer (FLIC), and the Karnofsky Performance Status. Upon entry, 33% of patients reported significant psychological distress, as indicated by MHI Psychological Distress scores (MHI-PD) equal or greater to 1.5 standard deviations above the mean of a nationwide community sample. Impaired physical functioning (FLIC subscale) was the most important predictor of heightened psychological distress (MHI-PD) at baseline (1.5 SD or greater above the norm) (P = 0.0004) in a stepwise logistic regression involving medical/physical and sociodemographic variables as predictors. Further, significant differences were found in all quality of life scales between patients with Karnofsky Performance Status scores of < or = 80, and those with ratings of 90 or greater (P = 0.036 to P < 0.0001). These data suggest the need for an improved and more frequent assessment of ovarian cancer patients' psychological status, particularly as physical functioning declines, to improve early detection and referral to treatment of those suffering from psychiatric sequelae of cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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