How Menopause Symptoms and Attitude Impact Korean Women's Quality of Life After Adjuvant Treatment for Breast Cancer

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Abstract

Background:

Attitudes toward menopause vary across cultures and influence women's experiences of menopausal symptoms, possibly leading to reduced posttreatment quality of life in breast cancer survivors.

Objective:

The aim of this study is to examine the effects of menopausal symptoms and attitudes on health-related quality of life in breast cancer survivors who were premenopausal at the time of diagnosis.

Methods:

A total of 139 women receiving chemotherapy with/without endocrine therapy were assessed with self-report questionnaires of established reliability and validity. Hierarchical regression was conducted to assess the impact of menopausal symptoms and attitudes on quality of life, while controlling for demographic characteristics.

Results:

Overall, participants endorsed more than half of 46 symptoms, most at the level of mild symptoms, and most reported a less positive attitude toward menopause. Lower quality of life was significantly predicted by more menopausal symptoms endorsed and more negative attitudes when controlling for demographic factors associated with quality of life (R2 = 26.1%). Most participants experienced change from premenopause to postmenopause after the completion of adjuvant chemotherapy with or without tamoxifen.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that more menopausal symptoms and negative attitudes toward menopause may affect health-related quality of life considerably in chemotherapy-treated Asian breast cancer survivors.

Implications for Practice:

Healthcare professionals should develop a better understanding of the effects of menopausal symptoms and attitudes on quality of life by using a culturally relevant perspective based on patients' sociocultural backgrounds. Furthermore, these findings help healthcare professionals communicate with their Asian clients in a more informed way and provide culturally appropriate and individualized care.

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