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Factors affecting quality of life in Taiwanese survivors of childhood cancer

Authors


L.-N. Chou: e-mail: chou_lina@yahoo.com.tw

Abstract

Title. Factors affecting quality of life in Taiwanese survivors of childhood cancer.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a pilot study to examine the significance, direction, and magnitude of the relationship of risk factors, protective factors, and resilience to quality of life in survivors of childhood cancer, and to explore what these variables meant to participants in order to better understand the quantitative findings and to assess the validity of the instruments with this population.

Background.  Cancer survivors contend with physical, psychosocial and emotional consequences of the disease and its treatment. There has been little research in Taiwan assessing these outcomes and, as survivor numbers increase, appropriate interventions need to be implemented. Haase’s Adolescent Resilience Model was used as the theoretical framework.

Methods.  A mixed methods design was used to assess the relationship between the variables for survivors of leukaemia and brain cancers. Ninety-eight participants completed quantitative tools and interviews, and the data were collected in 2006.

Findings.  Survivors of leukaemia had better quality of life than those with brain tumours. This is attributed to more positive protective factors, fewer illness-related and individual risk factors and more positive resilience scores. Findings were congruent with similar studies from other countries. Qualitatively, participants believed that better quality of life meant less loss of self, a more integrated self, less chronic fear, and an ability to rebound and achieve personal control over one’s life.

Conclusion.  Interventions and assessment of their efficacy are necessary to help survivors capitalize on their strengths, to decrease their individual risks and to promote resilience promote self-control.

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