Gender differences in self-reported late effects, quality of life and satisfaction with clinic in survivors of lymphoma


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Abstract

Objectives:Gender differences in perceived vulnerability to late effects and views about follow-up among cancer survivors have received little attention. As lymphoma affects both genders similarly, we compared the consequences of cancer (late effects, perceived vulnerability and quality of life (health-related quality of life (HRQoL)), and satisfaction with clinic visits between genders.Methods:A cohort of 115 younger adults (18–45 years, >5 years disease-free survival), who had been treated for lymphoma participated. Questionnaires (n= 91) were completed before and after (n= 62) routine consultant-led appointments. Survivors (n= 24) without appointments were recruited by post. Questionnaires included HRQoL, late effects, perceived vulnerability, issues survivors wanted to discuss and reported discussing in clinic, time waiting in clinic and consultation satisfaction.Results:There were no gender differences in number of self-reported late effects or perceived vulnerability. Men with more late effects reported worse psychological HRQoL (r= 0.50,p<0.001). While men wanted to discuss more topics than they did, women were able to discuss the topics they wanted (ANOVA,p= 0.01). Multiple regression analyses showed a shorter wait in clinic (r= −0.46,p= 0.009) and discussing more topics (r= 0.34,p= 0.06) explained 30.6% of the variance in consultation satisfaction for men.Conclusions:Issues surrounding follow-up provision are increasingly important given the length of survival in young adults following treatment for lymphoma. Men may experience poor psychological well-being due to distress about unanswered concerns. Consideration of their concerns should be prioritised, given that satisfaction and ultimately continued attendance at clinic and HRQoL may be dependent on the extent to which follow-up meets survivors' expectations. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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