Distress and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors in Korea

한국 유방암 생존자들의 디스트레스와 삶의 질

  • Kwon, Eun Jin (Graduate School of Nursing, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yi, Myungsun (College of Nursing, Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University)
  • 권은진 (서울대학교 간호대학) ;
  • 이명선 (서울대학교 간호대학.간호과학연구소)
  • Received : 2012.11.05
  • Accepted : 2012.12.25
  • Published : 2012.12.31


Purpose: The purposes of this study were to find the levels of distress and quality of life of breast cancer survivors in Korea and to identify relationship between distress and quality of life. Methods: The data were collected from 122 breast cancer survivors in 2009. To measure the distress and quality of life, the 'Distress Thermometer and Problem List' and the 'Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy-Breast' were used respectively. Results: The mean score of distress was 4.77 (${\pm}2.35$) and 63.1% of the subjects reported a distress score of 4 or more, indicating a clinically significant level of distress. Among these, the most frequently reported problem area was emotion, followed by family. The mean score of the quality of life was 88.22 (${\pm}18.41$), signifying 6.13 out of 10. The levels of distress and the quality of life were negatively correlated (r=-.38, p<.001). Conclusion: The results of the study indicate that distress is prevalent in Korean breast cancer survivors and the distress is related negatively with their quality of life. Thus oncology professionals continuously need to assess distress of breast cancer survivors and to provide appropriate psychosocial interventions to improve their quality of life.