Treatment-related side effects and quality of life in cancer patients

Eva Mazzotti, Gian Carlo Antonini Cappellini, Stefania Buconovo, Roberto Morese, Alessandro Scoppola, Claudia Sebastiani, Paolo Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Cancer leads to a complicated pattern of change in quality of life (QoL). Objective The aims of this study were to assess the impact of treatment-related side effects on QoL in cancer patients and to explore which other factors, and to what extent, contribute to explain low QoL scores. Methods One hundred twenty-three cancer patients receiving chemotherapy completed the self-administered questionnaires (Medical Outcomes Short-Form-36 (SF-36) and 12- item General Health Questionnaire). Multiple regression analyses were conducted with the SF-36 physical component summary (PCS) and SF-36 mental component summary (MCS) scores as the dependent variables and demographic and clinical factors as independent variables. Results Seventy-two percent of patients experienced treatmentrelated side effects, and 32% resulted positive for psychiatric diseases. Two multivariate analyses showed that worse PCS scores, like worse MCS scores, were significantly and independently predicted by treatment-related side effects (odds ratio (OR)05.00, 95%CI 1.29-19.45; OR08.08, 95% CI 2.03-32.22, respectively) and changes in health over the last 12 months (OR 02.34, 95%CI 1.47-3.76; OR03.21, 95% CI 1.90-5.41, respectively), after adjustment for age, gender, years of school, time from cancer diagnosis, and psychiatric disease. Conclusions Given the new emphasis on QoL, we suggest that physicians have a responsibility to openly discuss therapy efficacy, prognosis as well as the potential for adverse events with their patients. Changes in health, as perceived by patient, should also be monitored at follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2553-2557
Number of pages5
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Cancer patients
  • Quality of life
  • Treatment-related
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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