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08-11-2017 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 2/2018

Quality of Life Research 2/2018

Mental health, loneliness, and illness perception outcomes in quality of life among young breast cancer patients after mastectomy: the role of breast reconstruction

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2018
Ioanna Fanakidou, Sofia Zyga, Victoria Alikari, Maria Tsironi, John Stathoulis, Paraskevi Theofilou



Το explore the relationship between mental health (depression, anxiety, and stress), loneliness, and illness perception with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in young breast cancer patients, within a year after mastectomy, and to investigate the role of breast reconstruction.


Eighty-one women with stage II breast cancer—35 with breast reconstruction and 46 without breast reconstruction—completed the Missoula-VITAS Quality of Life Index-15, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 21, the UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, and a questionnaire with demographic and medical information. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 20.


Breast reconstruction was a significant predictor of total HRQoL and its domains. Women with breast reconstruction had better HRQoL, significantly better mental health, less stress and anxiety levels but experienced more physical discomfort and perceived higher level of physical distress compared to the ones without breast reconstruction. On the contrary, patients without breast reconstruction had higher level of loneliness, which was found to be correlated with poor HRQoL and higher levels of anxiety. Negative illness perceptions were associated with poor HRQoL for both groups.


Breast reconstruction is not a panacea for patients in improving HRQoL.

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