Quality of life of Bahraini women with breast cancer: a cross sectional study.
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BACKGROUND: Breast cancer can impact survivors in many aspects of their life. Scarce information is currently available on the quality of life of cancer survivors in Bahrain. The objective of this study is to describe the quality of life of Bahraini women with breast cancer and its association with their sociodemographic and clinical data.
METHODS: This is a cross sectional study in which the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Cancer Specific version translated into Arabic was administered to a random sample of 337 Bahraini women with breast cancer. Relevant descriptive statistics were computed for all items. The equality of means across the categories of each categorical independent variable was tested using parametric tests (ANOVA and independent t-test) or non-parametric tests (Kruskal Wallis and Mann Whitney tests) of association where appropriate.
RESULTS: Of the total sample, 239 consented to participation. The mean and median age of participants were 50.2 (SD ± 11.1) and 48.0 respectively. Participants had a mean score for global health of 63.9 (95% CI 61.21-66.66). Among functional scales, social functioning scored the highest (Mean 77.5 [95% CI 73.65-81.38]) whereas emotional functioning scored the lowest (63.4 [95% CI 59.12-67.71]). The most distressing symptom on the symptom scales was fatigability (Mean 35.2 [95% CI 31.38-39.18]). Using the disease specific tool it was found that sexual functioning scored the lowest (Mean 25.9 [95% CI 70.23-77.90]). On the symptom scale, upset due to hair loss scored the highest (Mean 46.3 [95% CI 37.82-54.84]). Significant mean differences were noted for many functional and symptom scales.
CONCLUSION: Bahraini breast cancer survivors reported favorable overall global quality of life. Factors associated with a major reduction in all domains of quality of life included the presence of metastases, having had a mastectomy as opposed to a lumpectomy and a shorter time elapsed since diagnosis. Poorest functioning was noted in the emotional and sexual domains. The most bothersome symptoms were fatigability, upset due to hair loss and arm symptoms. This study identifies the categories of women at risk of poorer quality of life after breast cancer and the issues that most need to be addressed in this Middle East society.