Low Quality of life (QoL) in Indian breast cancer patients : a critical analysis of UP
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 10, Pages 1561-1575
Breast cancer is the commonest of all cancers among women across the world and India being no exception to this deadly disease. There may be many symptoms due to cancer, some are complex but some are not complex. Measuring quality of life (QoL) is important to measure overall burden of disease. It is important to evaluate cancer specific QoL which is associated to all stages of this disease. Also Quality of Life is a term that adds various dimensions of quality of life such as physical, psychological, socio-economical, spiritual, cognitional & social dimensions. Balance between all the four domains (i.e. Physical, Psychological, Social and Spiritual) means good quality of life, but in India QoL in general is not good and if we talk of cancer patients its worst.
The aim of this study is assessment of QoL in breast cancer patients undergoing treatment through various modalities at different stages of disease.
This is a cross-sectional study, a total of 150 breast cancer patients were included. Patients quality of life were assessed by Ferrel‘s Quality of Life Instrument-Breast Cancer patient
version and the instrument is already validated by Ferrel BR et al (2012). These questionnaires consist of general well-being, psychological well-being, distress, fearfulness, social concerns and spiritual well-being. The data obtained gives Cronbach alpha value of 0.642 which is reliable enough for further study. The QoL in for most subjects was around 50% and is a cause of concern as this is quite low as compare to global standards.
A significant relationship between type of cancer, amount of pain, and fatigue (tiredness) was found. However, none of the demographic variables (age, marital status, income) were significantly related to QoL. Education and type of treatment were found to be correlated with QoL. The physical well-being score was found to be Mean = 4.82, SD = 2.19. The Psychological well-being score was found to be Mean=4.95, SD=2.02. For social well-being score was found to be Mean=4.98, SD=1.94. The highest score was for spiritual well-being Mean = 5.32, SD = 2.46.
Influencing quality of life (QoL) is an important issue in Breast cancer patients. Apart from effect of treatment there are other factors like socioeconomic status, psychological well-being, fear of recurrence etc., Which plays a pivotal role in patients wellbeing and if counseled at various levels like family, hospital and society can improve QoL.
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