Quality of life in breast cancer patients on chemotherapy at Uganda cancer institute, a cross sectional study.
Macharia, Peter Nderi
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Data from Uganda Cancer Institute indicate that annual incidence of breast cancer stands at 3.7% and breast cancer ranks third constituting 8.2% of all cancers diagnosed in Uganda (Wabinga H. R.et al, 2014). Majority of the patients present with locally advanced disease 51%, 75% are poorly differentiated tumours and 31 % of this patient receivedchemotherapy(A.Gakwaya et al, 2008).Breast cancer treatment includes surgery, chemo-radiation, hormonal therapy and immunotherapy. Previous studies show that chemotherapy significantly impairs QOL.However, research in Uganda focusing on QOL among breast cancer on chemotherapy is still scanty. Objective: To evaluate the impact of chemotherapy on QOL among breast cancer patients at UCI. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study carried out at UCI outpatient cancer clinic. Following approval from SOMREC of Makerere University College of Health Sciences, 101 participants of age 18 years and above on chemotherapy from second cycle were recruited purposively during the study period.Data was collected using standard breast cancer specific quality of life questionnaire EORTC QLQ BR23, the general cancer questionnaire EORTC QLQ C30 and socio-demographic questionnaire. Both tools have been validated and used widely. Data analysis: The scores of QLQ C30 and QLQ B23 were calculated according to the user manuals. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to relate the scores of the EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-BR23 functional and symptom scales, with the global health score/ quality of life. The parametric method-studentst-test was used to compare the scores for all the scales between the subjects who had „6 or less chemotherapy cycles‟ and those that had 7 or more chemotherapy cycles. The means and Standard deviations of patient reported outcomes per group are reported. Changes in the different domains of QOL were then computed. Clinical relevance of observed differences was assessed with differences ≥0.5 SD considered clinically relevant. Results are presented using frequency tables and bar graphs. Results: Mean age was45.50 years(SD 10.76) years and majority of participants had some form of education 87%. Overall, breast cancer patients on chemotherapy had good QOL however social and role functions were low. Among socio-demographic factors age, marital status and employment were predictors of QOL while education was not. Those who received 7 or more chemotherapy cycles had a better QOL compared to those who received 6 or fewer cycles. There was no significant mean difference in the scores between the subjects who received „CAF‟ and those who had „CMF‟ chemotherapy regimens Conclusion: Overall, breast cancer patients on chemotherapy had good QOL however social and role functionswere poor.