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J Thorac Oncol. 2012 Jan;7(1):64-70. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3182397b3e.

Quality of life and symptom burden among long-term lung cancer survivors.

Author information

1
Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA. yang.ping@mayo.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Information is limited regarding health-related quality of life (QOL) status of long-term (greater than 5 years) lung cancer survivors (LTLCS). Obtaining knowledge about their QOL changes over time is a critical step toward improving poor and maintaining good QOL. The primary aim of this study was to conduct a 7-year longitudinal study in survivors of primary lung cancer which identified factors associated with either decline or improvement in QOL over time.

METHODS:

Between 1997 and 2003, 447 LTLCS were identified and followed through 2007 using validated questionnaires; data on overall QOL and specific symptoms were at two periods: short-term (less than 3 years) and long-term postdiagnosis. The main analyses were of clinically significant changes (greater than 10%) and factors associated with overall QOL and symptom burden for each period and for changes over time.

RESULTS:

Three hundred two (68%) underwent surgical resection only and 122 (27%) received surgical resection and radiation/chemotherapy. Recurrent or new lung malignancies were observed in 84 (19%) survivors. Significant decline or improvement in overall QOL over time were reported in 155 (35%) and 67 (15%) of 447 survivors, respectively. Among the 155 whose QOL declined, significantly worsened symptoms were fatigue (69%), pain (59%), dyspnea (58%), depressed appetite (49%), and coughing (42%). The symptom burden did not lessen among the 67 who reported improvement in overall QOL, suggesting that survivors had adapted to their compromised physical condition.

CONCLUSIONS:

LTLCS suffered substantial symptom burden that significantly impaired their QOL, indicating a need for targeted interventions to alleviate their symptoms.

PMID:
22134070
PMCID:
PMC3241852
DOI:
10.1097/JTO.0b013e3182397b3e
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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