MELIN-JOHANSSON C., AXELSSON B., GASTON-JOHANSSON F. & DANIELSON E. (2010) European Journal of Cancer Care19, 243–250
Significant improvement in quality of life of patients with incurable cancer after designation to a palliative homecare team
The aims of this study were to describe and compare quality of life before and after designation to a palliative homecare team in patients with different cancer diagnoses and to identify pre-designation predictors of post-designation global quality of life. We measured patients’ quality of life 1 week before designation and 11 days (median time) after with the Assessment of Quality of life at the End of Life (Axelsson & Sjödén 1999). Of 163 eligible patients 63 participated without attrition. Patients’ quality of life improved in the physical, psychological, medical and global areas. Six items significantly improved: hours recumbent during the day (P = 0.009), nausea (P = 0.008), anxiety (P = 0.007), getting hold of staff (P = 0.000), received care (P = 0.003) and global quality of life (P = 0.023). Depression/low in mood (r = 0.55) and meaningfulness (r = 0.70) associated to global quality of life. Furthermore, pain (P = 0.028) and meaningfulness (P = 0.028) predicted global quality of life. In the existential area, it is important to further explore how meaningfulness is associated to and predicts global quality of life.