The Impact of Cancer and Quality of Life among Long-term Survivors of Breast Cancer in Austria Open Access
Bouskill, Kathryn Elizabeth (2015)
Objective: This study explores the relationship between the perceived impact of cancer among long-term breast cancer survivors, key socio-demographic and clinical variables, and mental and physical health-related quality of life outcomes in Austria.
Methods: One hundred and fifty-two long-term survivors of breast cancer (on average 13 years after initial diagnosis) completed three mailed surveys including the SF-36 to determine self-reported mental and physical health functioning, the Impact of Cancer (version 2) to assess the perceived positive and negative aspects of long-term cancer survivorship, and a general questionnaire to gather socio-demographic and clinical variables of respondents. Linear regression models were constructed to determine the various effects of the perceived positive and negative impact of cancer, while controlling for additional socio-demographic and clinical variables, on mental and physical health-related quality of life.
Results: Respondents reported a physical health status that centered on population norms for Austria, but scored lower on mental health status. After controlling for age, chemotherapy, exercise, and BMI, the positive impact of cancer was associated with improved physical functioning (p=0.0014), and the negative impact of cancer was associated with poorer physical functioning (p<0.0001). After controlling for age, marital status, the belief in emotional distress as a cause of cancer, and high stress levels, the negative impact of cancer was associated with poorer mental functioning (p<0.0001). Higher perceived positive impact of cancer was not associated with mental functioning.
Conclusion: Long-term survivors of breast cancer in Austria perceive both positive and negative impacts of breast cancer. These perceptions, in particular the negative impact of cancer, appear to influence, or are potentially influenced by, physical and mental health-related quality of life.
Table of Contents
I. Background 3
II. Methods 8
III. Results 14
IV. Discussion and Implications for Public Health 16
V. References 21
VI. Tables 25
Table 1. Demographic, Clinical, and Behavioral Characteristics of the Study Sample 25
Table 2. Comparing Physical and Mental health-related Quality of Life and Key Predictor Variables, the Positive and Negative Impact of Cancer, across select independent variables 26
Table 3. Regression model examining the Impact of Cancer and select independent variables on Mental Health Functioning (SF-36, Mental Component Summary) 28
Table 4. Regression model examining the Impact of Cancer and select independent variables on Physical Health Functioning (SF-36, Physical Component Summary) 29
VII. Appendix 30
About this Master's Thesis
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