Changes in Health- Related Quality of Life and Psychosocial Well-being of Breast Cancer Survivors: Findings from a Group- Based Intervention Program in Malaysia

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.

2 Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Kota Ilmu, Nusajaya, Malaysia.

3 The Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Abstract

Background: There is a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of multifaceted group-based interventions to
improve psychological well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of breast cancer (BCa) survivors in
Malaysia. This study is aimed at assessing the effectiveness of such intervention program among the BCa survivors.
Materials and Methods: This was a group-based intervention program with pre- and post-test design, carried out
among BCa survivors (n=37) who were members of Breast Cancer Support Group Centre, Johor Bahru. A validated
self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the impact of the program on psychosocial well-being and HRQOL of
the participants. Results: The mean age of BCa survivors was 58.1 years (SD=9.7), with mean age at diagnosis of
49.9 years (SD=9.6). Majority of them were of Chinese ethnicity, married and had secondary level education, but
were unemployed. More than 86% of them were diagnosed to have early BCa diagnosis and have since completed
the treatment. There were significant decreases in median depression (p=0.001), anxiety (p<0.001) and stress (p<0.001)
scores at post-intervention. More than 85% of the participants rated themselves to have a good or very good QOL
at post-intervention, as opposed to 75.9% at pre-intervention. Significant improvements in several HR-QOL domain
scores were seen, with psychological score improving the most (p<0.001), followed by social relationship (p=0.002)
and physical health (p=0.004). Conclusions: Group-based multifaceted intervention can be a viable solution to improve
psychosocial well-being of BCa survivors.

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