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29-03-2017 | Uitgave 8/2017

Quality of Life Research 8/2017

What contributes to long-term quality of life in breast cancer patients who are undergoing surgery? Results of a multidimensional study

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 8/2017
Victoria Wittmann, Melinda Látos, Zoltán Horváth, Zsolt Simonka, Attila Paszt, György Lázár, Márta Csabai



This study aims to examine the key determinants of long-term quality of life in breast cancer patients who are undergoing surgery using a multidimensional approach and taking into account preoperative and post-operative psychological characteristics such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic growth, body image, and physical activity as well as medical parameters.


The study involved 63 breast cancer patients from the Department of Surgery at the University of Szeged. Assessments occurred 1 day before surgery as well as 3 days and 18 months after surgery using the Spielberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Breast Cancer Scale (FACT-B), Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) and Breast Impact of Treatment Scale (BITS). Data relating to physical activity, medical parameters and sociodemographic characteristics were also collected.


The level of depression did not change over time. State anxiety decreased 18 months after the surgery compared to before the surgery; however, there was a greater decrease immediately after the surgery and then anxiety increased again 18 months later. Trait anxiety was associated with quality of life, posttraumatic growth and body image. Posttraumatic growth and the level of depression were found to be possible contributing factors to the increase in long-term quality of life.


The results show that the timely detection and proper management of psychological distress and the enhancement of posttraumatic growth are of great value, as they might be important contributing factors to long-term quality of life in breast cancer patients.

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