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Quality of Life Research

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 547–555 | Cite as

Are gender-associated differences in quality of life in colorectal cancer patients disease-specific?

  • Johannes Giesinger
  • Georg Kemmler
  • Verena Mueller
  • August Zabernigg
  • Beate Mayrbaeurl
  • Josef Thaler
  • Dietmar Öfner
  • Christian Pegger
  • Gerhard Rumpold
  • Barbara Weber
  • Barbara Sperner-Unterweger
  • Bernhard HolznerEmail author
Article

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate gender-associated differences in quality of life in colorectal cancer patients and compare such differences to the general population.

Methods

Colorectal cancer patients attending three oncological centres in Austria were consecutively recruited and assessed with the EORTC QLQ-C30. For the purpose of comparison, a gender- and age-matched healthy control group was drawn from a representative sample of the Austrian general population.

Results

About 206 patients (47.1% women; mean age 64.8 years) with colorectal cancer were included and compared with 206 persons from the general population. A two-way analysis of variance showed significant main effects (gender and colorectal cancer vs. healthy) for most EORTC QLQ-C30 scales, but a significant interaction effect was only found for diarrhea. This means that gender-associated differences specific for colorectal cancer patients were only found for diarrhea.

Conclusion

The vast majority of studies on gender-associated differences in quality of life compare male and female oncological patients and neglect the issue of the disease-specificity of such differences. Our study revealed that women and men suffering from colorectal cancer scored differently across many aspects of quality of life, but with the exception of diarrhea, these differences were also found in the general population, i.e. they indicated no gender-specific reaction to disease.

Keywords

Colorectal cancer Gender Quality of life Symptoms General population 

Abbreviations

5-FU

5-Fluoruracil

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

CHES

Computer-based health evaluation system

CRC

Colorectal cancer

EORTC

European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer

GP

General population

OR

Odds ratio

QLQ-C30

Quality of life questionnaire-core 30

QOL

Quality of life

SD

Standard deviation

SE

Standard error

SPSS

Statistical package for the social sciences

UICC

Union internationale contre le cancer

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Sandra Ehrenstrasser for her contribution to data collection, Jakob Pinggera and Stefan Zugal for help with software programming and Wolfgang Fleischhacker for thoughtful comments. Furthermore, we thank the “Arbeitskreis fuer Vorsorgemedizin—Tirol” for administrative assistance in the collection of data from the general population. The “Jubilaeumsfond” of the Austrian National Bank as well as the “Qualitaetsfoerderprogramm” of the state of Tyrol funded parts of the project financially.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes Giesinger
    • 1
  • Georg Kemmler
    • 1
  • Verena Mueller
    • 2
  • August Zabernigg
    • 2
  • Beate Mayrbaeurl
    • 3
  • Josef Thaler
    • 3
  • Dietmar Öfner
    • 4
  • Christian Pegger
    • 4
  • Gerhard Rumpold
    • 1
  • Barbara Weber
    • 5
  • Barbara Sperner-Unterweger
    • 1
  • Bernhard Holzner
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyInnsbruck Medical UniversityInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineKufstein County HospitalKufsteinAustria
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine IVWels County Hospital, A.ö. Krankenhaus der KreuzschwesternWelsAustria
  4. 4.Department of Visceral-, Transplant- and Thoracic SurgeryInnsbruck Medical UniversityInnsbruckAustria
  5. 5.Department of InformaticsUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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