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Understanding the quality of life (QoL) of long-term cancer survivors is relevant to daily clinical practice as well as to healthcare policy. This study assessed QoL of Italian survivors and tested the association between QoL and the main clinical and socio-demographic sample’s characteristics.
Two hundred and sixty-five Italian adult long-term cancer survivors (people free from cancer and its treatments for at least 5 years) were administered the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30, the Impact of Cancer, and the Short Form 36 questionnaires obtaining three different QoL profiles—cancer-specific, survivorship-specific, and generic.
In both cancer-specific and generic QoL profiles, participants reported a lower general health and a higher social functioning than normative samples; in addition, they reported low emotional functioning and vitality, respectively, in the former and latter profile. In the survivorship-specific profile, participants scored higher on personal growth and altruism (p < 0.001) and lower on dissatisfaction and life interferences (p < 0.001). Males reported less dissatisfaction and life interferences (p < 0.001), and less pain (p < 0.001) than females. Employed participants reported higher physical functioning (p = 0.001) and fewer role limitations (p < 0.001) than unemployed participants. Differences according to cancer type were recorded only in survivorship-specific domains (p < 0.004). No association between survivorship length and any of the three QoL profiles was found. Finally, the absence of other reported health issues was associated to higher functioning in the majority of cancer-specific and generic QoL domains.
Our data support the usefulness of multi-disciplinary follow-ups for long-term cancer survivors and the need to pay particular attention to the psycho-emotional long-term and late-presenting sequels of cancer and its treatment.
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- Quality of life profile in Italian long-term cancer survivors
Maria Antonietta Annunziata
- Springer International Publishing