Quality of Life and Psychological Well-Being of Colorectal Cancer Survivors in Jordan

  • Published : 2014.10.11


Background: Colorectal ranked first among cancers reported in males and ranked second amongst females in Jordan, accounting for 12.7% and 10.5% of cancers in males and females, respectively. Colorectal cancer patients can suffer several consequences after treatment that include pain and fatigue, constipation, stoma complications, sexual problems, appearance and body-image concerns as well as psychological dysfunction. There is no published quantitative data on the health-related quality of life and psychological wellbeing of Jordanian colorectal cancer survivors. Method: This project was a cross-sectional study of colorectal cancer survivors diagnosed in 2009 and 2010. Assessment was performed using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30), the colorectal cancer specific module (EORTC QLQ-CR 29) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data on potential predictors of scores were also collected. Results: A total of 241 subjects completed the study with mean age of $56.7{\pm}13.6$. Males represented 52.3% of study participants. A majority of participants reported good to high overall health; the mean Global health score was $79.74{\pm}23.31$ with only 6.64% of study participants scoring less than 33.3%. The striking result in this study was that none of the study participants participated in a psychosocial support group; only 4 of them (1.7%) were even offered such support. The mean scores for HADS, depression score, and anxiety score were $8.25{\pm}9$, $4.35{\pm}4.9$ and $3.9{\pm}4.6$, respectively. However, 77.1% of study participants were within the normal category for the depression score and 81.7% were within this category for anxiety score; 5.4% of participants had severe anxiety and 5.4% of them had severe depression. Discussion: Patients with colorectal cancer in Jordan have a good quality of life and psychological wellbeing scores when compared with patients from western countries. None of the colorectal cancer patients managed at the Ministry of Health received any formal counselling, or participated in psychological or social support programmes. This highlights the urgent need for a psychosocial support programme, psychological screening and consultations for patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the Ministry of Health Hospitals.


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