What Matters Most? Predictors of Quality of Life and Life Satisfaction Among Young Breast Cancer Survivors

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Cancer nursing


BACKGROUND: Younger breast cancer survivors face unique challenges, and research is needed to better understand how to optimize their quality of life (QoL) and satisfaction with life (SwL).

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine a biopsychosocial model of QoL and SwL in young breast cancer survivors. Biological, psychological, and social/practical factors were hypothesized to be associated with both distressing and adaptive reactions during survivorship, which in turn were hypothesized to be associated with QoL and SwL.

METHODS: Young (age = 19-45 years at diagnosis) breast cancer survivors (N = 284) completed an online survey assessing demographic and biopsychosocial factors, QoL, and SwL. Latent variables were created for adaptive and distressing reactions, and structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships.

RESULTS: The model fit the data (χ2(100) = 332.92, P < .001, comparative fit index = 0.86, root mean square error of approximation = 0.09, standardized root mean square residual = 0.05) and accounted for large proportions of variance in QoL (R2 = 0.86) and SwL (R2 = 0.62). Social support, parenting concerns, and fertility concerns each significantly predicted adjustment. Adaptive reactions positively predicted SwL (β = 0.58, P < .001) but not QoL. Distressing reactions negatively predicted SwL (β = -0.26, P < .01) and QoL (β = -0.87, P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Adjustment in survivorship mediated the association of social support, parenting concerns, and fertility concerns on QoL and SwL in young breast cancer survivors.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: To support the psychological adjustment of young breast cancer survivors, attention should be given to survivors' social context including survivors' available social support and their concerns about fertility and parenting.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Breast Neoplasms; Cancer Survivors; Female; Humans; Middle Aged; Personal Satisfaction; Quality of Life; Surveys and Questionnaires; Survivors; Young Adult

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