Quality of Life Among Long-Term Survivors of Breast Cancer: Different Types of Antecedents Predict Different Classes of Outcomes

Psychooncology. 2006 Sep;15(9):749-58. doi: 10.1002/pon.1006.

Abstract

Quality of life (QOL) has many aspects, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Different aspects of QOL may have different types of precursors: demographic, medical, and psychosocial. We examined this possibility in a group of long-term breast cancer survivors. Early-stage breast cancer patients (N = 163) who had provided information about medical, demographic, and psychosocial variables during the year after surgery completed a multidimensional measure of QOL 5-13 years later. Initial chemotherapy and higher stage predicted greater financial problems and greater worry about appearance at follow-up. Being partnered at diagnosis predicted many psychosocial benefits at follow-up. Hispanic women reported greater distress and social avoidance at follow-up. Initial trait optimism predicted diverse aspects of better psychosocial QOL at follow-up, but not other aspects of QOL. Thus, different aspects of QOL at long-term follow-up had different antecedents. Overall, psychological outcomes were predicted by psychosocial variables, presence of a partner at diagnosis, and ethnicity. Financial outcomes, in contrast, were predicted by medical variables, which otherwise predicted little about long-term QOL. This divergence among aspects of QOL should receive closer attention in future work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Personality
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Rate
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors