Quality of Life Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 2853–2868 | Cite as

Phenotypic and molecular characteristics associated with various domains of quality of life in oncology patients and their family caregivers

  • Kimberly E. Alexander
  • Bruce A. Cooper
  • Steven M. Paul
  • Patsy Yates
  • Bradley E. Aouizerat
  • Christine Miaskowski



Not all oncology patients and their family caregivers (FCs) experience the same quality of life (QOL). The purposes of this study were to identify latent classes of oncology patients (n = 168) and their FCs (n = 85) with distinct physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being trajectories from prior to through 4 months after the completion of radiation therapy and to evaluate for demographic, clinical, and genetic characteristics that distinguished between these latent classes.


Using growth mixture modeling, two latent classes were found for three (i.e., physical, psychological, and social well-being) of the four QOL domains evaluated.


Across these three domains, the largest percentage of participants reported relatively high well-being scores across the 6 months of the study. Across these three QOL domains, patients and FCs who were younger, female, belonged to an ethnic minority group, had children at home, had multiple comorbid conditions, or had a lower functional status, were more likely to be classified in the lower QOL class. The social well-being domain was the only domain that had a polymorphism in nuclear factor kappa beta 2 (NFKB2) associated with latent class membership. Carrying one or two doses of the rare allele for rs7897947 was associated with a 54 % decrease in the odds of belonging to the lower social well-being class [OR (95 % CI) = .46 (.21, .99), p = .049].


These findings suggest that a number of phenotypic and molecular characteristics contribute to differences in QOL in oncology patients and their FCs.


Quality of life Cytokines Genetics Growth mixture modeling Family caregivers Radiation therapy Oncology 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NR04835). Dr. Alexander received support from a grant from the Oncology Nursing Foundation (i.e., AACR-Genetech BioOncology Research Career Development Award). Dr. Miaskowski is funded by the American Cancer Society as a Clinical Research Professor and by a K05 award (CA168960) from the National Cancer Institute.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Supplementary material

11136_2016_1310_MOESM1_ESM.docx (54 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 54 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly E. Alexander
    • 1
  • Bruce A. Cooper
    • 2
  • Steven M. Paul
    • 2
  • Patsy Yates
    • 1
  • Bradley E. Aouizerat
    • 3
  • Christine Miaskowski
    • 2
  1. 1.School of NursingQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Physiological Nursing, School of NursingUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.School of DentistryNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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