Antecedents of domain-specific quality of life after colorectal cancer

Authors

  • Suzanne K. Steginga,

    Corresponding author
    1. Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, The Cancer Council Queensland, Queensland, Australia
    2. School of Psychology, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
    • The Cancer Council Queensland, PO Box 201, Spring Hill QLD 4004, Queensland, Australia
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  • Brigid M. Lynch,

    1. Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, The Cancer Council Queensland, Queensland, Australia
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  • Anna Hawkes,

    1. Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, The Cancer Council Queensland, Queensland, Australia
    2. School of Psychology, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
    3. School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia
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  • Jeff Dunn,

    1. Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, The Cancer Council Queensland, Queensland, Australia
    2. School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia
    3. School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
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  • Joanne Aitken

    1. Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, The Cancer Council Queensland, Queensland, Australia
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Abstract

Objective: The present study prospectively assessed the influence of medical, socio-demographic, psychological, and lifestyle variables on physical, social/family, emotional, functional well-being and colorectal cancer-specific concerns in a population-based sample of colorectal cancer survivors.

Methods: Participants (n=1822) were assessed at 6 and 24 months post-diagnosis. Predictor variables assessed at 6 months included socio-demographic and medical variables, symptoms/side-effects, body mass index, physical activity, optimism, social support, and cancer threat appraisal. Quality of life (QOL) was assessed at 6 and 24 months post-diagnosis using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Colorectal (FACT-C).

Results: For each QOL subscale and for the overall FACT-C scale, 6 month scores were the strongest predictor of QOL scores at 24 months post-diagnosis (e.g. β=0.447, p < 0.001 for overall QOL). Socio-demographic, medical, and psychosocial variables, but not lifestyle variables, differentially predicted domain specific QOL. Only cancer threat appraisal was associated with all five QOL domains.

Conclusion: Cancer threat appraisal presents as a potentially modifiable variable for interventions seeking to improve QOL. Symptom management and lifestyle strategies to ameliorate the effects of co-morbidities, disease stage and troublesome symptoms such as faecal incontinence on QOL should also be included. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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