Article

Shim EJ, Mehnert A, Koyama A, Cho SJ, Inui H, Paik NS, Koch UHealth-related quality of life in breast cancer: a cross-cultural survey of German, Japanese, and South Korean patients. Breast Cancer Res Treat 99: 341-350

Institute of Medical Psychology, University Medical Center Hemburg-Eppendorf, Martinistr,52-S35, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (Impact Factor: 3.94). 11/2006; 99(3):341-50. DOI: 10.1007/s10549-006-9216-x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in breast cancer patients across countries, and to cross-culturally examine the impact of psychosocial factors on HRQOL.
A total of 413 women with breast cancer from Germany (n = 195), Japan (n = 112), and Korea (n = 106) completed a survey assessing HRQOL and HRQOL-related factors. HRQOL was measured using the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-8). Measures of psychological distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Impact of Event Scale-Revised), coping (Dealing with Illness Inventory-German Revised), and social support (Illness-Specific Social Support Scale-German Revised) were included.
The effect of the factor country on physical QOL was seen to be significant, but small (P = 0.049, ES = 0.018). The scales of General Health (P = 0.023), Vitality (P = 0.004), and Role Emotional (P = 0.003) differed across countries, with the South Korean patients having lower scores compared to the German and Japanese patients. The nature of the impact of psychosocial factors on HRQOL did not differ greatly across countries except with regard to avoidance, however, the degree to which these factors influence HRQOL did differ greatly. Overall, depression, depressive coping, and problematic support showed a strong detrimental effect on the HRQOL of breast cancer patients.
Results from this study suggest that strategies which target an improvement of HRQOL in cancer patients should also consider the patients' cultural and healthcare system contexts. Interventions are needed to improve detrimental psychosocial factors.

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Available from: Anja Mehnert, Oct 13, 2014
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    • "In the Southern European Psycho- Oncology Study (SEPOS), for example, Portuguese cancer patients showed higher levels of fatalism and lower levels of anxiety and depression with respect to Italian cancer patients, as well as higher levels of spirituality (Grassi et al., 2004b; Travado et al., 2010). In another cross-cultural study, differences were found on health, vitality and emotional symptoms , with South Korean cancer patients reporting lower scores compared to German and Japanese patients (Shim et al., 2006). Also differences were found between German and Chinese cancer patients in a further cross-cultural study analyzing anxiety, depression , and unmet psychosocial needs (Lam et al., 2011). "

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