Confidant and breast cancer patient reports of quality of life

Sandgren, Ann K. and Mullens, Amy B. and Erickson, Shannon C. and Romanek, Kathleen M. and McCaul, Kevin D. (2004) Confidant and breast cancer patient reports of quality of life. Quality of Life Research, 13 (1). pp. 155-160. ISSN 0962-9343


It is well known that breast cancer patients report a temporary decline in their quality of life following diagnosis. Caregivers observe these changes, but only a few studies have examined the shared perceptions of patients and others concerning the patient’s QOL. In this study, 112 women (96% white, 4% Native American), ages 34–84, rated their QOL 1–3 months after diagnosis on the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT). The patients identified their main source of emotional support, and this confidant also completed the FACT. Most participants selected a spouse (60%); others selected a child (11%), friend (11%), or sibling (7%). Comparisons on five QOL subscales showed good agreement between patients and their confidants, with an average patient-confidant correlation across subscales of r ¼ 0.34. At baseline, patients reported a higher overall QOL (M ¼ 90.30) than their confidants (87.32), p ¼ 0.05. At a 4-month follow up, significant patient/confidant difference was only obtained for the emotional well being subscale. Overall, the data attest to the reliability of the FACT, but they also suggest that confidants may overestimate how distressed patients feel, or that patients are reluctant to admit to distress. Such discrepancies could cause misguided social support efforts.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 17 May 2016 23:48
Last Modified: 20 May 2016 00:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: confidant reports; quality of life
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1023/B:QURE.0000015287.90952.95

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