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20-08-2015 | Uitgave 2/2016

Quality of Life Research 2/2016

Gender, race, BMI, and social support in relation to the health-related quality of life of cancer survivors: a report from the American Cancer Society’s Study of Cancer Survivors II (SCS-II)

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2016
Ruth P. Westby, Carla J. Berg, Corinne Leach



We examined the main and interactive effects of race, BMI, and social support on physical and mental health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among male and female cancer survivors using the stress and coping theory to inform findings.


HRQoL issues among 1768 cancer survivors were examined using the American Cancer Society’s cross-sectional Study of Cancer Survivors II. Two-step multiple linear regressions were conducted to assess the physical and mental HRQoL of male and female cancer survivors, respectively.


The average age of participants was 67.36 (SD = 11.51); the majority were female (53.3 %; n = 941) and non-Hispanic White (85.9 %; n = 1517). The average BMI measurement for participants was 28.33 (SD = 5.90), with 41.3 % (n = 729) overweight and 30.3 % (n = 535) obese. Higher BMI was significantly associated with lower physical HRQoL across gender, while social support had significant main effects on physical and mental HRQoL across gender. Race moderated the relationship between social support and physical HRQoL among female cancer survivors and between BMI and mental HRQoL for both genders.


The results of this study contribute a unique gender- and racial-specific perspective to cancer survivorship research. While the buffering hypothesis of the stress and coping theory was not supported, the main effects of BMI and social support on HRQoL were different across gender and race.

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