Self-care activities and quality of life in ovarian cancer survivors

Date
2002-05
Authors
Nicholson, Lylith Lambert
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Abstract

This study is a non-experimental survey to determine if self-care activities and selected basic conditioning factors affect quality of life in ovarian cancer survivors. Three hypotheses were derived from the research question: (a) self-care activities are predictors of quality of life, (b) period of cancer survivorship is a predictor of quality of life, (c) selected basic conditioning factors are predictors of quality of life. The theoretical framework of this study combined the self-care theory of Orem (1985) with Ferrell's (Ferrell, 1996; Ferrell, Dow & Leigh, 1995) conceptual model of quality of life. Participants were selected by random sampling. Ninety-five usable surveys were returned from a potential of 150 participants. Two established instruments, the Self-As-Carer Inventory and the Quality of Life-Cancer Survivor Instrument, in addition to a researcher developed demographic form, were used for data collection. Few significant differences in descriptive characteristics were found in the sample. The majority of the women in the study were Caucasian, married, well educated, and had a family income of greater than $50,000 per year. Most of the women had stage three ovarian cancer when diagnosed and length of cancer survivorship was less than two years for 51 (53.6%) of the participants. Hypotheses testing was accomplished using multiple regression. Findings supported self-care activities as a predictor of quality of life in ovarian cancer survivors. Age was a predictor of quality of life, but marital status, family income, and cancer stage were not. Self-care activities accounted for 19.7% of the variance in quality of life (Q < .001). Age accounted for 6% of the variance in quality of life (Q = < .05). Lack of participants in the extended period of cancer survivorship made analysis of Hypothesis 2 impossible.

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Keywords
Health and environmental sciences, Ovarian cancer, Quality of life, Self-care
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