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29-10-2018 | Uitgave 3/2019

Quality of Life Research 3/2019

Health-related quality of life among cancer survivors in rural China

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2019
Mingzhu Su, Xingxing Hua, Jialin Wang, Nengliang Yao, Deli Zhao, Weidong Liu, Yuewei Zou, Roger Anderson, Xiaojie Sun



The purpose of the study was to examine health-related quality of life (HRQoL) about the most common cancers survivors (lung, stomach, colorectal, breast, and esophageal cancer) in rural China.


We administrated a cross-sectional study in three counties in Shandong province from August to September 2017. The five-level EuroQol-5-dimension (EQ-5D-5L) questionnaire was used to measure the HRQoL among cancer patients at least 8 months post-diagnosis. The Chinese population-based preference trade-off time (TTO) model and discrete choice experiment (DCE) were used to convert the EQ-5D-5L utility score. Tobit regression model was used to identify independent associations between socio-demographic, clinical variables with the HRQoL.


In total, 452 cancer survivors were included. The mean EQ-5D-5L utility scores and Visual Analog Scale (EQ-VAS) scores were 0.841 (SD = 0.233) and 70.35 (SD = 18.80) for cancer survivors, respectively. Among the five dimensions, 58.6% of survivors had at least slight levels of pain/discomfort, and 39.2% showed at least slight levels of anxiety/depression. The influencing factors of HRQoL included cancer stage at diagnosis, tumor site, comorbidities, annual household income, and migrant worker status (rural-to-urban migration). Compared to other cancer patients, lung cancer patients had the lowest HRQoL. Higher household income and being a migrant worker were associated with a higher HRQoL for cancer survivors.


Cancer survivors in rural China have deteriorated HRQoL, and a substantial number of survivors have pain/discomfort problems. Our study provides detailed data on HRQoL of rural cancer survivors for future supportive and survivorship care in China.

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