Breast Conserving Therapy and Quality of Life in Thai Females: a Mixed Methods Study

Document Type: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Authors

1 Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand

2 Department of Radiology, Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi, Supanburi, Thailand.

3 Walailak University School of Medicine, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Supanburi, Thailand.

4 Faculty of Liberal Arts, Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi, Supanburi, Thailand.

5 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla,Thailand.

6 Research Unit of Holistic Health and Safety Management in Community, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand.

Abstract

Background: To explore factors that influence quality of life (QOL) in patients receiving breast conserving therapy (BCT).
Materials and Methods: In this sequential mixed methods study, 118 women from Songklanagarind Hospital were included. We used participants’ characteristics, Body Image Scale (BIS), and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy with the Breast Cancer Subscale (FACT-B) for analysis. The BIS transformed into presence of body image disturbance (BID). Factors that influenced QOL were determined by stepwise multiple linear regression. Forty-one participants were selected for qualitative analysis. Our female researcher performed the semi-structured interviews with questions based on the symbolic interaction theory. Final codes were analysed using thematic analysis along with investigator triangulation methods.
Results: Ninety percent had early stage breast cancer with post-completed BCT, for an average of 2.7 years. The median BIS score and FACT-B score were 2 (IQR=10) and 130 (IQR=39). In the regression analysis, an age of more than 50 years and BID were significant factors. As for the value of conserved breasts, two themes emerged: a conserved breast is an essential part of a participant’s life and also the representation of her womanhood; the importance of a breast is related to age.
Conclusions: Body image influenced QOL in post BCT participants. The conserved breasts also lead to positive and better impact on their body image as an essential part of their life.

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