The impact of epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosis on women's life: A qualitative study

L. Mangone, V. D. Mandato, R. Gandolfi, C. Tromellini, M. Abrate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of investigation: To describe the experience of ovarian cancer patients from symptoms complained before diagnosis until the impact of ovarian cancer diagnosis perceived by women. Materials and Methods: The authors used the Psychological General Well being Index (PGWBI) and a semi-structured interview to measure the overall well being of 39 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the period 2005-2010 at a secondary care hospital in northern Italy. Results: The PGWBI showed that the majority of the women reported general stress. On the semi-structured interview, 95% of women reported having symptoms and 69% reported a stressful event prior to diagnosis. More than 50% of women reported changes concerning life course. Almost all reported that their primary concerns had to do with the surgical scar, weight gain, and hair loss. Conclusions: Ovarian cancer diagnosis has a very stressful effect on the quality of life. Early assessment of psychological problems must be an integral part of the therapeutic pathway. Gynaecologists must provide clear and useful information regarding the disease itself as well as regarding correlated symptom relief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-38
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Gynaecological Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Ovarian cancer
  • Patterns of care
  • Quality of life
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology


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