Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 13, Issue 12, pp 1018–1026

Ending treatment: the course of emotional adjustment and quality of life among breast cancer survivors immediately following radiation therapy

  • Teresa Deshields
  • Tiffany Tibbs
  • Ming-Yu Fan
  • Laura Bayer
  • Marie Taylor
  • Edwin Fisher
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-005-0801-z

Cite this article as:
Deshields, T., Tibbs, T., Fan, MY. et al. Support Care Cancer (2005) 13: 1018. doi:10.1007/s00520-005-0801-z

Abstract

Goal of work

This study investigated changes in psychological adjustment and quality of life among breast cancer patients following completion of radiation therapy.

Patients and methods

Ninety-four patients completed measures of depressed mood, anxiety, and quality of life via interview at five time points: the end of radiation therapy, 2 weeks posttreatment, the first radiation oncology follow-up appointment (4–6 weeks after treatment), 3 months posttreatment, and 6 months posttreatment.

Main results

At the conclusion of radiation treatment, participants reported elevated levels of depression, low levels of anxiety, and diminished quality of life. By 2 weeks posttreatment, depression decreased significantly and overall quality of life improved significantly, as well as quality of life in the specific FACT-B domains of Physical and Functional Well Being and the Breast Cancer Subscale. Following that time, the only significant change involved further improvement in breast-cancer-specific concerns.

Conclusions

Results suggest that the primary psychological changes associated with ending breast cancer treatment occur quickly following the conclusion of treatment. Thereafter, psychological status appears to stabilize. The implications of these findings for treatment and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords

Breast cancer Depression Quality of life End of treatment Psychological adjustment 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Deshields
    • 1
    • 8
  • Tiffany Tibbs
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ming-Yu Fan
    • 5
  • Laura Bayer
    • 6
  • Marie Taylor
    • 1
    • 7
  • Edwin Fisher
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Alvin J. Siteman Cancer CenterBarnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  5. 5.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Comprehensive Neuropsychological ServicesCheshireUSA
  7. 7.Department of Radiation OncologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  8. 8.Siteman Cancer CenterSt. LouisUSA