Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 21–30 | Cite as

Global quality of life and its potential predictors in breast cancer patients: an exploratory study

  • Elisabeth Andritsch
  • Gabriele Dietmaier
  • Günter Hofmann
  • Silke Zloklikovits
  • Hellmut Samonigg
Original Article


Goals of work

This study reflects variables being depicted as predictors of global quality of life in current research. The evaluation was conducted at the Division of Clinical Oncology at the Medical University in Graz, Austria.

Patients and methods

A sample of 210 breast cancer patients between ages 30 and 80 years was assessed 1−5 years after initial diagnosis in a tumor-free stage. Besides the socio-demographic and medical variables, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), Impact of Event Scale (IES), Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC), and the Perceived Family Support (PFS) were used. To identify variables related to quality of life, stepwise multiple regression analyses were calculated.

Main results

In a regression analysis, the general severity index (BSI) was identified as the most important and helplessness/hopelessness (MAC) as the second important variable related to QoL. Including the BSI-subscales as predictors, the depression-subscale (BSI) explained 25% of the variance; in addition, somatization (BSI), helplessness/hopelessness (MAC), and having financial problems (semi-structured interview) were significantly related to global quality of life, but the medical variables showed no associations to the measured quality of life. Depression itself is associated with negative the impact of cancer, the number of stressful life events, being uncomfortable with the body, having financial problems and anxious preoccupation (MAC).


The awareness of the role of multi-factorial and associated variables could provide patients, family, and medical staff with appropriate and adequate tools to treat specific symptoms.


Quality of Life Breast cancer Predictive factors Depression Helplessness/hopelessness 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Andritsch
    • 1
  • Gabriele Dietmaier
    • 1
  • Günter Hofmann
    • 1
  • Silke Zloklikovits
    • 1
  • Hellmut Samonigg
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Oncology, Department of Internal MedicineMedical University of GrazGrazAustria

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