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Qual Life Res. 1994 Apr;3(2):143-54.

Quality of life of cancer patients with different prognoses.

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University of Trondheim, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Norway.


This study examines differences and similarities in the quality of life of 253 cancer patients with good, medium and poor prognoses. Our main hypothesis was that patients with a good prognosis will experience a higher quality of life than patients with a medium or poor prognosis. A multivariate analysis of covariance of eight quality of life scales was performed with prognosis as a factor and with age, sex, and the duration of the illness as covariates. Significant main effects of prognosis were found for the general QOL-scale and for physical aspects of quality of life. There were, however, only marginal and non-significant effects of prognosis groups on social and psychological functioning. A final multivariate analysis confirms earlier findings that performance status shows a weak but significant relationship with the psychological functioning. Thus, the physical condition of the patient at the time of measurement seems to have some influence on the psychological functioning, whereas the severity of the disease as indicated by the classification into prognosis groups does not. These results question the general attitude that seriously ill cancer patients have reduced social and psychological well-being. An alternative interpretation is that the scales used to measure psychological aspects of quality of life are inadequately sensitive.

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