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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131-138

Quality of life assessment and supportive management in a cancer outpatient setting in Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Oncology and Liver Diseases, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Greenville, North Caroline, United States
2 Vidant Medical Center, Greenville, North Caroline, United States
3 Department of Oncology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Greenville, North Caroline, United States

Correspondence Address:
Kim Sadler
Department of Oncology and Liver Diseases, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh
United States
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_36_22

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Background: Despite improvement in treatment modalities, a cancer diagnosis and its related treatments continue to cause significant distress. Aims: This study analyzed the prevalence of common symptoms, as well as the influence of various sociodemographic, clinical, and treatment characteristics on the quality of life (QoL). Methods and Materials: Data were gathered through the administration of the Quality of life questionnaire (QLQ-C30) from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Patients (EORTC) to a Saudi adult population receiving treatments. Statistical Analysis: Data were analyzed using t test, one way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson's correlation test and linear regression analysis. Results: Four hundred patients (median age = 48) were surveyed (women = 58.5%). More than half had breast or gastrointestinal cancer. The Global QoL score was 71.1 with a 95% confidence interval (68.9–73.3). The lowest functional scale was Physical (69.8%). The most prevalent symptoms were fatigue (40.6%) and insomnia (39.1%). Men showed a higher emotional (P = 0.048) and cognitive (P = 0.013) functioning. Married patients reported better physical (P = 0.027) and cognitive (P = 0.004) functioning. Education was associated with better physical functioning (P = 0.003). More financial stress was present when caring for children (P = 0.017), living alone (P = 0.01), and living outside the treatment region (P = 0.001). Gaps were found between reported symptoms and provided treatments, especially for pain, constipation, and insomnia. Palliative care was involved in 7.5% of cases and mostly when higher levels of fatigue (P = 0.002), pain (P = 0.001), dyspnea (P = 0.05), and lower functioning were present. Conclusion: Significant differences were found according to sociodemographic, clinical, and treatment patients' characteristics, as well as significant gaps between reported symptoms and management plans in place. This study showed that various factors can influence the QoL and this knowledge can enable the provision of better support to maintain the QoL.

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