Vol 17, No 3 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-01-29

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High prevalence of somatic complaints and psychological problems despite high self-declared quality of life in long-term cancer survivors

Krystyna de Walden-Gałuszko1, Alicja Heyda2, Magdalena Wojtkiewicz3, Piotr Mróz4, Mikołaj Majkowicz5, Mariusz Wirga6
Oncol Clin Pract 2021;17(3):89-97.


Introduction. To assess the quality of life (QoL) of long term cancer survivors and its determinants.

Material and methods. The research covered a group of 272 disease-free cancer survivors (mean OS = 8 years). Methods: 1) Evaluation of somatic and psychological complaints (with the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology — Survivorship Assessment, NCCN Guidelines®, V.1.2015); 2) Evaluation with numeric rating scales (NRS, 0–10 points): health status life satisfaction; social support and acceptance; 3) Assessment of the quality of life as dependent variable (NRS).

Results. Analysis revealed high prevalence of numerous somatic complaints, assessment of emotional disturbances, cognitive dysfunctions and surprisingly high global QoL (66%), high overall (77%) and present (74%) life satisfaction, good health (55%), strong impact of illness on life (42%), high social acceptance (80%) and satisfying support (62%). QoL correlated significantly (p < 0.05) with most of NRS measured subjective variables especially health status (–0.74), life satisfaction (0.66) and joy of life (0.63).

Conclusions. High Qol despite somatic ailments might reflect high levels of received support, as well as attitudes towards life and illness. Positive correlations between the QoL and other subjective variables imply that those parameters might be equally important determinants of QoL as somatic indices. Specialized care should provide cognitive evaluation and therapy for cancer survivors to a larger extent than before.

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