Health-related Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Patients Referred for Radiotherapy During the Covid 19 Pandemic Using a Validated, Culture-specific Questionnaire
Benedict Mihangel Crisostomo, Ricci Pilar Sugui
Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess the health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) of breast cancer patients referred for radiotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methodology: This cross-sectional analysis included histopathologically-proven breast cancer patients referred for radiotherapy at the Philippine General Hospital from June to October 2020. The University of the Philippines-Department of Health Quality of Life Scale for Cancer Patients was used to assess the HR-QoL of the respondents across five domains.
Results: A total of 60 respondents (median age of 52, range 33-71) were surveyed and eligible for analysis. College degree holders and good performers were associated with higher HR-QoL scores (p=0.008). The median interval from diagnosis to survey was 10.7 (SD±6.18) months and a longer illness duration was detrimental to HR-QoL. Overall, the global HR-QoL score was high (80.0% of respondents, HR-QoL score of 5.38±0.46). This was observed in all, except for the cognitive domain where HR-QoL was moderate among respondents (4.24±0.76).
Conclusion: This assessment was conducted within seven months into the pandemic, when an overall high HR-QoL score was observed among breast cancer patients. With further restrictions in treatment census encountered during the pandemic, strategies are recommended to address these indicators of health related QoL in this patient population through equitable and prompt access to needed care, such as radiotherapy.
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