Quality of life of women with gynecologic cancer: associated factors
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- Vaz, A.F., Pinto-Neto, A.M., Conde, D.M. et al. Arch Gynecol Obstet (2007) 276: 583. doi:10.1007/s00404-007-0397-2
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To evaluate quality of life (QOL) and identify its associated factors in a cohort of women with gynecologic cancer.
A cross-sectional study was conducted, including 103 women with cervical or endometrial cancer, aged between 18 and 75 years who were receiving their entire treatment at the institution where the investigation was carried out. QOL was measured by the World Health Organization’s QOL instrument-abbreviated version (WHOQOL-BREF). Clinical and sociodemographic characteristics, in addition to prevalence of cancer-related symptoms prior to radiotherapy were investigated. Bivariate analysis was performed, applying the Mann–Whitney test. Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors associated with QOL.
The mean age of the participants was 56.8 ± 11.6 years. The study included 67 (65%) women with cervical cancer and 36 (35%) women with endometrial cancer. Most participants were at an advanced stage (63.1%). The most common complaints were pain (49.5%) and vaginal bleeding (36.9%). The prevalence of anemia was 22.3%. On multivariate analysis, it was observed that anemia (P = 0.006) and nausea and/or vomiting (P = 0.010) determined impairment in physical domain. Pain negatively influenced physical domain (P = 0.001), overall QOL (P = 0.024), and general health (P = 0.013), while the history of surgery positively affected general health (P = 0.001).
Cancer-related symptoms were factors that most interfered with QOL in women with gynecologic cancer. Therefore, more attention should be focused on identifying these symptoms, adopting measures to minimize their repercussions on QOL.