Quality of life and brain tumors: what beyond the clinical burden?
This study analyzed the subjective facets of quality of life (QoL) and their relation to the type of brain tumor (BT) and phase of disease. Two hundred and ninety-one patients with pinealoblastoma, medulloblastoma, low-grade glioma, anaplastic astrocytoma, or glioblastoma were evaluated. With respect to 110 healthy controls, patients in the phases of radiotherapy/chemotherapy, stable disease, or tumor recurrence were significantly more anxious and depressed compared with patients in the early postoperative period. All patients were impaired in mental flexibility and memory, with preservation of abstract reasoning. The Functional Living Index-Cancer (FLIC), previously validated in cancer and BT patients, yielded six subjective factors (disease perception, affective well-being, role and leisure, personal base, nausea, sharing). None of the FLIC factors were predicted by tumor type, which only related to the physical and cognitive performances and mood scores. Affective well-being, role and leisure, and sharing were predicted by the phase of disease. Personal base, including self-perception and confidence, was independent on tumor progression and treatment. To conclude, QoL encompasses different subjective aspects, which vary in relation to the phase of disease and clinical burden. However, some person-related facets appear independent on tumor progression and treatment, indicating individual resources. Knowing this may guide tailored interventions supporting QoL.
KeywordsBrain tumor Quality of life Mood Cognition Physical performance
The authors thank the participants of the study and the professionals from the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico C. Besta who contributed to diagnosis and treatment.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
The study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.
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