Changes in and Determinants of Quality of Life in Patients With Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Undergoing Initial Chemotherapy

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Background:Few studies have evaluated completely the changes in quality of life (QOL) that occur from pretreatment through the first four consecutive cycles of chemotherapy or determined its determinants in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).Purpose:The aim of this study was to explore the changes to and determinants of QOL in patients with advanced NSCLC under initial chemotherapy from pretreatment through Cycle 4 of chemotherapy.Methods:The QOL of 139 patients with advanced NSCLC was assessed from prechemotherapy through Cycle 4 of chemotherapy. Changes to and determinants of QOL were evaluated using multivariate linear regression, which used generalized estimation equation models.Results:No significant changes were observed in the global QOL or the physical, role, emotional, or cognitive functional domains of QOL during the course of chemotherapy. However, the social functional domain of QOL improved significantly at Cycle 3 in comparison with the prechemotherapy values. Better global QOL was determined as better performance status, less frequent physical symptoms, and less severe anxiety and depressive symptoms. Important determinants of better QOL in the five functional domains included younger age, better performance status, less frequent physical symptoms, less severe anxiety and depressive symptoms, and weaker perceived social support. Furthermore, patients who achieved a partial response after chemotherapy enjoyed stronger improvements in global QOL and the QOL emotional functional domain than those who did not.Conclusions:To help patients with advanced NSCLC optimize their QOL, healthcare professionals should enhance their ability to identify patients who are at elevated risk of poor QOL throughout the course of chemotherapy and to appropriately detect and manage the related physical symptoms and side effects, strengthen patients’ social support, and lessen the anxiety and depressive symptoms of patients.

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