Background: Quality of life is conceptualized as a person’s position in life in the context of their goals, expectations and the effects these on the person’s physical, psychological state, level of independence and social relationships. Research has suggested that cancer impacts the quality of life (QoL) of patients. Furthermore, several predictors of QoL in patients exist, namely year since diagnosis, type of cancer, stage, and treatment, and studies have considered this relationship. In developing this thesis, the researcher drew on Social Cognitive Theory (SCT).
Aim: The SCT concept of outcome expectations refers to the physical, social, and self-evaluative expectations one holds and when there is a negative outcome these lower the QoL.
Methods and Results: Utilizing an instrument to capture both epidemiological (demographic and medical) and quality of life data (EORTC-QLQ 30) as well as focus group sessions, the study results show overall that cancer related factors namely year since diagnosis and type of cancer can explain 18% of the variance in the quality of life of these patients; a significant relationship between age and quality of life; stages 1 and 2; 1 and 3; 1 and 4 and quality of life andthe year since diagnosis and quality of life;sex and quality of life; negative relationships between treatment and quality of life; no significant association type of cancer (breast and prostate) and quality of life. Over 34% of the patients experienced a good quality of life; 27% experienced a very good QoL with only 3% experiencing a very bad QoL.
Conclusions: The study concludes that QoL is a relevant concept and this study can facilitate the assessment of the impact of the disease on QoL and allow for strategies to minimize the adverse effects on the lives of Ca patients.