Quality of life and post-traumatic stress disorderamong adult females with cancer in Palestine: across-sectional study
Maraqa, Beesan Nader
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Background: Little research has been conducted on the quality of life (QoL), functional status, and traumatic symptoms related to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the Arab region, particularly in Palestine, where the psychological problems in patients with cancer are often neglected.Objective: The aim of the study was to assess QoL and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among adult female patients with cancer attending Beit-Jala Governmental Hospital in Bethlehem.Method: Participants were recruited from 4 April 2015 to the end of July 2015. The sample included 253 female patients with cancer attending Beit-Jala Governmental Hospital in Bethlehem. Data were collected using self-reported questionnaires, including a socio-demo-graphic data sheet, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30, and the post-traumatic stress disorder checklist for PTSD symptoms.Results: The current study showed poor global QoL (57.4%) and poor physical function (48.5%) for female patients with cancer. Insomnia, fatigue, and loss of appetite were the most trouble-some symptoms that the participants complained about. The prevalence of PTSD symptoms was 3%. Regarding PTSD symptom severity, 2% reported severe symptoms, 23.3% reported moderate symptoms, and (68.8%) reported mild symptoms, based on a 1991 classification of PTSD symptom severity scores. Finally, Pearson’s test revealed a strong, statistically significant, inverse relationship between QoL domains and PTSD.Conclusion: The study found that the overall QoL of female patients with cancer was low and strongly associated with PTSD symptoms, suggesting that early detection and treatment of these symptoms is critical.