Quality of Life Determinants in Breast Cancer Patients in Central Rural India

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Wardha, India.

2 Epidemiology and Global Health, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umea University, SE-901 85 Umea, Sweden.

Abstract

 
Introduction: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women throughout world, with incidence rates increasing in India. Improved survival in breast cancer patients has resulted in their quality of life (QOL) becoming an important issue. Identifying determinants for QOL may provide insights into how to improve their living conditions. This study aimed to assess socio-demographic and clinical factors, as well as the role of self-efficacy, in relation to QOL among women with breast cancer in rural India. Methods: A total of 208 female patients with infiltrating carcinoma of the breast participated in the study. A questionnaire was administered that included sections for socio-demographic characteristics, clinical stage of the cancer and patient delay in seeking health care. A standardized instrument to measure self-efficacy was applied. To assess QOL, the WHOQOL – BREF instrument was used. Results: The overall mean score for QOL was 59.3. For domain 1 (physical health) the mean score across all groups was 55.5, for psychological health 58.2, for social relationships 63.2 and for environmental factors, 60.4. The environmental domain in QOL was negatively associated with lower education. Being divorced/widowed/unmarried had a negative association with the psychological health and social relationship dimensions, whereas higher income was positively associated with QOL parameters such as psychology, social relationships and environmental factors. Self-efficacy was positively associated with all four domains of QOL. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated a moderate QOL in women with breast cancer in rural India. Young age, lack of education and being without a partner were negatively related to QOL, and employment as casual and industrial workers, high monthly family income and higher self-efficacy were positively associated with QOL. A comprehensive public health initiative is required, including social, financial and environmental support, that can provide better QOL for breast cancer survivors.

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