Psychosocial Stressors, Social Support and Socio-demographic Variables as Determinants of Quality of Life of Turkish Breast Cancer Patients


Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of psychosocial stressors, social supportand socio-demographic variables on quality of life of breast cancer patients. Tools and methods: The study wasconducted between December 2004 and May 2005 and included 101 patients, treated in the Oncology Departmentsof Ege and Pamukkale University Hospitals and Denizli State Hospital. Patients’ demographic data were collectedby questionnaire. The methods used in the interviews were the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL), and theMultidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), the Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS).Psychosocial stressors were classified according to life events using the DSM-IV multi-axial diagnostic system.
Results: It was found that increase of cancer stage triggers a decrease in psychological quality of life (p<0,05);overall global life quality (p<0,001), perceived social support and performance status (p<0,05), all of these beingnegatively affected by family stressors. The patients with increased social support, better psychological andoverall quality of life (p<0,01) and younger age had more physical wellness besides overall quality of life (p<0,05);lower incomes negatively affected overall global life quality (p<0,01) and working at a job decreased thepsychological stressors (p<0,05).
Conclusion: From these results, it can be postulated that psychosocial stressors,social support and some socio-demographic variables mostly affected quality of life of the breast cancer patients.