Quality of Life and Psychological Wellbeing of Colorectal Cancer Survivors in the KSA

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Mutah University, Kerak, Jordan.

2 Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Alfaisal University, KSA.

3 Internal Medicine Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City, AlAhsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

4 Industrial Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.

5 Comprehensive Cancer Center, King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

6 King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

7 MENA Center for Researchand Development And Internship, Amman, Jordan.

8 Department of Oncology Center, King Abdulaziz Medical City, AlAhsa, kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Introduction: Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranked first among cancers reported in males and ranked third amongst females in Saudi Arabia. CRC cancer symptoms or symptoms secondary to treatment, such as diarrhea, constipation, fatigue and loss of appetite are very common and has significant negative effects on the quality of life (QoL). Methods: This project was a cross-sectional study of colorectal cancer survivors diagnosed between 1 January 2015 and May 2017. Assessment was performed using the European Organization for Research and Treatment 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 predictors of scores were also collected. Results: 115 CRC patients from Middle, Eastern and Western regions of the KSA participated in the study. Participants have unexpectedly low global health score with a mean of 56.9±31.3. Physical functioning scale had the lowest score of 61.3±27.7. Regarding the generic symptoms of cancer, fatigue was the worst symptom, followed by appetite loss. Psychological wellbeing assessment utilizing HADS reveals alarming outcomes for survivors of CRC in the KSA with high proportion of participants with moderate to severe depression (55%) and a good proportion of participants with moderate to high anxiety (31%). Only 3.7% of participants reported receiving psychosocial support. Discussion: Results of this project reveal an overall trend of low scores of quality of life amongst colorectal cancer patients in the KSA when compared with regional or international figures. Consistent results for psychological wellbeing were reached. We recommend routine screening for quality of life and psychological wellbeing and including the outcomes per individual patient care. Psychological support is highly needed for cancer survivors.


Main Subjects