Scores on quality of life (QOL) domains and facets are probably subject to fluctuations across time due to the course of breast cancer treatment. Existing QOL studies have been cross-sectional. Therefore, this prospective follow-up study examined whether QOL domains (physical health, psychological health, social relationships, and environment) and QOL facets contributed differentially across time to overall QOL in women with early stage breast cancer.
From the 608 participating women, 225 women had early stage breast cancer. Before diagnosis and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgical treatment, women with early stage breast cancer were assessed on QOL (WHOQOL-100).
Psychological Health and Social Relationships were the QOL domains that contributed to overall QOL most consistently at the various time points. Physical Health appeared to be a contributor at all time points except 1 month after surgery. Environment contributed to a lesser extent to overall QOL compared with Physical Health, Psychological Health, and Social Relationships. Different facets contribute to overall QOL-dependent of particular measurement points. However, the facets Positive Feelings and Personal Relationships were important factors at almost all time points of maintaining a good overall QOL.
QOL domains and facets contributed differently to overall QOL at various time points across treatment in women with early stage breast cancer.