Quality of life over 5 years after a breast cancer diagnosis among low-income women: Effects of race/ethnicity and patient-physician communication.

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Quality of life over 5 years after a breast cancer diagnosis among low-income women: Effects of race/ethnicity and patient-physician communication.

Cancer. 2014 Nov 19;

Authors: Maly RC, Liu Y, Liang LJ, Ganz PA

Abstract
BACKGROUND: The current study was performed to identify risk factors for a lower quality of life (QOL) among low-income women with breast cancer (BC), with an emphasis on the impact of patient-physician communication. In addition, ethnic/racial group differences in QOL changes over time were examined.
METHODS: A longitudinal study was conducted among 921 low-income women with BC. Patients were interviewed at 6 months, 18 months, 36 months, and 60 months after their diagnosis of BC. Mixed-effect regression models were performed to investigate predictors for and time effects on QOL. The main outcomes included the Medical Outcomes Study Health Survey Short Form-36 Mental Component Summary scale (SF-36 MCS), Medical Outcomes Study Health Survey Short Form-36 Physical Component Summary scale (SF-36 PCS), and the Ladder of Life scale. Chief independent variables included physician information-giving and patient self-efficacy in interacting with physicians.
RESULTS: There were no significant changes noted over time in QOL except with regard to physical functioning, with survivors reporting a significant decrease over time (P<.0001). Mean SF-36 MCS and SF-36 PCS scores were lower than national general population norms at all time points. Both patient self-efficacy in interacting with physicians and physician information-giving were found to be positively associated with the SF-36 MCS (P = .03 and P = .02, respectively) and Ladder of Life (P = .01 and P = .03, respectively) scales. Latinas who were less acculturated reported higher SF-36 MCS and SF-36 PCS scores (P<.0001 and P = .01, respectively) and better global QOL (P<.0001) than white women.
CONCLUSIONS: Low-income women with BC experienced poor physical and mental health. The results of the current study suggest that QOL among low-income women with BC would be enhanced by interventions aimed at empowering patients in communicating with physicians and increasing the amount of information provided by physicians. Cancer 2014. © 2014 American Cancer Society.

PMID: 25411008 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]