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Contemp Nurse. 2008 May;29(1):67-79.

Patients' quality of life: a comparison of patient and nurse perceptions.

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School of Nursing & Midwifery, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Contemp Nurse. 2008 Dec;31(1):79.


Quality of Life (QoL) is a subjective perception a person has of their position in life. Tailoring care to a patient's unique needs requires nurses and patients to have a similar understanding of a patients' QoL. This study aimed to identify: (a) the level of agreement between patients and nurses about cancer patients' QoL; and (b) variables that may affect the level of agreement between them. Cancer patients (n=117) and nurses (n=49) from a public hospital were invited separately to complete the World Health Organisation Quality of Life Brief (WHOQoL-BREF) questionnaire. This assesses QoL in physical, psychological, social relationship and environmental domains, or dimensions. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) revealed a moderate agreement between nurses' and patients' scores in the physical QoL domain but lower agreement on other domains. A paired t-test identified patients' QoL domain scores were significantly higher than that of nurses in social relationship and environmental domains. Multivariate analysis using standard multiple regression analysis demonstrated that agreement between patients and nurses was higher: (a) in the physical QoL domain with nurses who have greater clinical experience with cancer patients; (b) in the social relationship QoL domain when patients are treated in outpatient departments. These results imply that differences exist between patients' and nurses' perceptions about cancer patients' QoL and nurses tend to underestimate patients' QoL in social relationship and environmental domains. Higher clinical experience with cancer patients may contribute toward a better understanding by nurses of cancer patients' QoL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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