ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY NURSING, vol.2, no.1, pp.17-25, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
Objective: This descriptive and cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the factors affecting cancer patients' quality of life. Methods: We collected data from 352 chemotherapy patients of an Outpatient Chemotherapy Unit in a state hospital. We included volunteered chemotherapy patients with a signed informed consent and at least 50 Karnofsky Performance Scale points. We gathered data by Personal Information Form and Nightingale Symptom Assessment Scale (N-SAS) and analyzed via basic descriptive statistics and linear regression analysis. Results: Patients were women (54.8%), married (83.5%), elementary school graduates (57.1%), housewives (44.6%) and undergoing fluorouracil-based therapy (47.2%), and almost all patients had religious and cultural rituals for the disease. Women experienced worse physical and social well-being than men (P = 0.001, P = 0.0001). Singles had worse psychological and general well-being (P = 0.0001, P = 0.0001). Housewives had the worst physical and social well-being (P < 0.05). No relationship existed between education level and life quality (P > 0.05). Breast cancer and sarcoma patients had the worst social well-being than other cancer patients. The N-SAS points of patients were not affected by blessings/prays, vow/sacrifice, consulting local herbalists and visiting "ocaks (folk physicians)" (P > 0.05). Patients with bad quality of life practiced lead pouring and amulets (P < 0.05). Gender was the first factor affecting the quality of life. Conclusion: Advanced studies on individual quality of life factors affecting cancer would empower nurses for better personal care techniques and patients for easily overcoming the disease.