Quality of Life and Psychological Well-Being of Breast Cancer urvivors in Jordan


Introduction: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Jordanians. Breast cancer patients sufferfrom several negative consequences after treatment and these include pain, fatigue, sexual problems, appearanceand body image concerns, with psychological dysfunction. This could affect the patient quality of life andpsychological well-being. To the best of our knowledge, there is no published quantitative data on the quality oflife and psychological well-being of breast cancer patients in Jordan. The objective of this study was to obtainsuch data and assess predictors with calculated scores.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study conducted amongbreast cancer patients in Jordan diagnosed in 2009 and 2010, assessment was performed using the EuropeanOrganization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30), theBreast Module (QLQ-BR23) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Clinical, demographic andpsychosocial indicators that could predict patient quality of life scores were collected.
Results: The number ofpatients interviewed was 236 (mean age=50.7±10.7 years). The mean Global Health score for the QLQ-C30 was63.7±20.2 SD. Among functional scales, “social functioning” scored the highest (mean=78.1±28.6 SD), whereas“emotional functioning” scored the lowest (mean=59.0±SD 33.5). For the QLQ-BR23, the worst scores withinthe functional scales were for “body image” (mean=52.1±36.8 SD) and “future perspective” (mean=52.9±38.5SD) . The worst symptom was “upset by hair loss” (mean=69.8±43.0). The mean HADS scores was 18.±9.0 SD.Out of study participants, 53% scored abnormal on the anxiety scale and 45% on the depression scale. Severedepression and severe anxiety were detected among 8% and 14% of study participants, respectively. Statisticallysignificant predictors for individual scores were similar to those reported in published studies, such as the presenceof recurrence since baseline, family history of cancer, low educational status, current social problems, extent ofthe disease, presence of financial difficulties, and employment status. Conclusions and Recommendations: Breastcancer survivors in Jordan have overall good quality of life scores when compared with patients from Westerncountries. However, their psychological wellbeing is more impaired. There is an urgent need for psychosocialsupport programs and psychological screening and consultation for breast cancer patients at hospitals of theMinistry of Health in Jordan.