What contributes the most to the breast cancer patients' quality of life during the therapy - clinical factors, functional and affective state or social support?
Background/Aim. As significant advances in cancer treatment have occurred over the decades, the crucial questions in oncology nowadays are not related only to the treatment of illness, but also to the quality of life (QOL) of patients. The goal of our study was to explore which set of determinants (clinical, functional, affective, or social) has the greatest impact on explaining QOL in women who live with diagnosis of breast cancer in Serbia. Methods. The research was conducted on 64 women
... ed on 64 women (Mage=58.36, SD=11.30) while undergoing radiation therapy at Oncology institute of Vojvodina. QOL-BC was used as a measure of physical, psychological, social, spiritual and general well-being, UEFI was applied for the assessment of the upper extremity function, DASS-21 was used for measuring symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, MOS-SSS served as a measure of social support, while demographic and clinical data were also collected. Results. ANOVA with repeated measures, F(2.03, 127.80 )=20.24, p<.001, showed that in our sample, physical QOL was significantly better from all other domains, while social QOL was significantly lower from both physical and psychological aspect. A hierarchical regression analysis, F(8, 55)=7.16, p<.001, R2=.51, showed that patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy, who experienced high levels of stress and poor social support, tend to have diminished general QOL. Intoduction of affective-related variables, ?R2=.16, p(?F)<.01, and social support, ?R2=.05, p(?F)<.05, led to a significant increase in proportion of explained variance over and above clinical and functional variables. Conclusion. Our results indicate that psychological and social resources are more important in predicting QOL, compared to clinical and funcitonal factors. At the same time, social, psychological and spiritual well-being of patients is significantly worse compared to physical QOL, meaning that there is still much left to be done regarding the progress from a purely somatic to a holistic approach in treatment of breast cancer.