Quality of Life and Psychological Well-Being of Colorectal Cancer Survivors in Jordan


Background: Colorectal ranked first among cancers reported in males and ranked second amongst femalesin Jordan, accounting for 12.7% and 10.5% of cancers in males and females, respectively. Colorectal cancerpatients can suffer several consequences after treatment that include pain and fatigue, constipation, stomacomplications, sexual problems, appearance and body-image concerns as well as psychological dysfunction. Thereis no published quantitative data on the health-related quality of life and psychological wellbeing of Jordaniancolorectal cancer survivors.
Method: This project was a cross-sectional study of colorectal cancer survivorsdiagnosed in 2009 and 2010. Assessment was performed using the European Organization for Research andTreatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30), the colorectal cancer specific module(EORTC QLQ-CR 29) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data on potential predictorsof scores were also collected.
Results: A total of 241 subjects completed the study with mean age of 56.7±13.6.Males represented 52.3% of study participants. A majority of participants reported good to high overall health;the mean Global health score was 79.74± 23.31 with only 6.64% of study participants scoring less than 33.3%.The striking result in this study was that none of the study participants participated in a psychosocial supportgroup; only 4 of them (1.7%) were even offered such support. The mean scores for HADS, depression score, andanxiety score were 8.25±9, 4.35±4.9 and 3.9±4.6, respectively. However, 77.1% of study participants were withinthe normal category for the depression score and 81.7% were within this category for anxiety score; 5.4% ofparticipants had severe anxiety and 5.4% of them had severe depression. Discussion: Patients with colorectalcancer in Jordan have a good quality of life and psychological wellbeing scores when compared with patientsfrom western countries. None of the colorectal cancer patients managed at the Ministry of Health received anyformal counselling, or participated in psychological or social support programmes. This highlights the urgentneed for a psychosocial support programme, psychological screening and consultations for patients diagnosedwith colorectal cancer at the Ministry of Health Hospitals.