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Keywords:

  • anxiety;
  • gynaecological cancer survivors;
  • insecure attachment;
  • quality of life;
  • sexual function;
  • sleep problems

Aims and objectives

To compare quality of life and its related factors, which include sexual activity, sleep problems, depression, anxiety and attachment styles in close relationships, between gynaecological cancer survivors and noncancer women.

Background

The majority of studies focus on examining the relationships between the late-treatment side effects and quality of life in gynaecological cancer survivors. As a result, there is insufficient information about what are the correlations between psychosocial factors and quality of life in gynaecological cancer survivors.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Methods

The quality of life of the 85 gynaecological cancer patients who had completed active treatments for at least six months was compared with the 85 age-matched women without cancer history. Measures included SF-12 Health Surveys, Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Sexual Activity Questionnaire and Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised.

Results

There were no significant differences in the quality of life between gynaecological cancer survivors and noncancer women. However, higher attachment-related anxiety in close relationship was the main factor associated with the lower physical quality of life in the gynaecological cancer survivor group. In contrast, older ages were correlated with lower physical quality of life in noncancer women. Anxiety level was the main factor associated with lower mental quality of life for both groups.

Conclusions

Different from noncancer women, the psychosocial factor of insecure attachment in close relationships was the main factor associated with physical quality of life for gynaecological cancer survivors. Anxiety status was the common factor correlated with mental quality of life for cancer and noncancer women.

Relevance to clinical practice

Developing psychosocial interventions focusing on secure attachment in close relationships and anxiety management could improve physical and mental components of quality of life among gynaecological cancer survivors.