Symptom interference and relation between the domains of quality of life among cancer patients of tertiary care hospital

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Indian Journal of Palliative Care


Introduction: Quality of life (QOL) should be considered as the main outcome measure for patient with advanced cancer. QOL of cancer patients is affected by several factors. Objectives: The objective of the study was to assess the symptom interference and the relation between the domains of QOL among cancer patients. Methodology: An exploratory survey conducted among 768 patients diagnosed as Stage III or IV of cancer of breast/cervix/head and neck/gastrointestinal tract/lung/colorectal. Data were collected using pretested reliable structured interview questionnaire. Results: Out of 768 cancer patients, symptoms burden was interfered completely in their relationship with others among 445 (57.9%), sleep among 491 (63.9%), and QOL among 433 (56.4%). The domains of QOL were general well-being, physical well-being, psychological well-being, familial relationship, sexual and personal abilities, cognitive well-being, economic well-being, informational support, doctors' cooperation, and body image. Since the data were not following the normal distribution, Spearman rho was computed to assess the relationship between the domains. The data revealed that there is a positive statistically significant correlation between the domains of general well-being of the participants with physical wellbeing (r = 0.265, P = 0.001), psychological well-being (r = 0.195, P = 0.001), sexual and personal abilities (r = 0.278, P = 0.001), and body image (r = 0.168, P = 0.001). The study inferred that cancer patients with good cognitive well-being and high economic status had a sense of positive body image. Conclusion: Cancer patients have poor QOL in physical and psychological domains. QOL of patients is affected by the symptoms suffering during the treatment and diagnosis. Symptoms need to be managed effectively to improve the QOL of cancer patients.

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