Journal List > J Korean Acad Nurs > v.39(5) > 1002563

Park, Jun, Kang, Joung, and Kim: Symptom Experience and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors



The purposes of this study were to evaluate symptom experience and quality of life (QOL) and to identify the predictors of QOL among breast cancer survivors.


A cross-sectional study was conducted on 200 disease-free breast cancer survivors at two hospitals between December 2007 and July 2008. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Scale-B, Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale-short Form and The Linear Analogue Self Assessment Scale were used to assess symptom experience and QOL in these patients. Data were analyzed using the Pearson correlation, t-test, ANOVA, and stepwise multiple regression with SPSS/WIN 12.0.


The mean score of QOL for breast cancer survivors was 95.81 (±18.02). The highest scores among physical and psychological symptoms were sexual interest and anxiety. Year since treatment completion was significantly associated with QOL in sociodemographic variables. Physical and psychological symptoms have a significant negative association with QOL. The results of the regression analyses showed that physical and psychological symptoms were statistically significant in predicting patients' QOL.


Symptom experience and QOL are essential variables that should be acknowledged when delivering health care to breast cancer survivors. More attention to the reduction and management of psychological distress could improve QOL among breast cancer survivors.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
The Difference of Quality of Life by Sociodemographic Variables (N=200)

BMI=body mass index.

Table 2
The Difference of Quality of Life by Disease/Treatment related Variables (N=200)

SM=simple mastectomy; PM=partial mastectomy; MRM=modified radical mastectomy.

Table 3
Quality of Life of the Subjects (N=200)

FACT-B=functional assessment of cancer therapy scale-B.

Table 4
Severity of Physical Symptoms and Psychological Symptoms (N=200)
Table 5
Correlation between Symptoms and Quality of Life (N=200)

PWB=physical well being; SWB=social well being; EWB=emotional well being; FWB=functional well being; BCS=breast cancer subscale; FACT-B=functional assessment of cancer therapy scale-B.

Table 6
Predictors for Quality of Life (N=200)

FACT-B= functional assessment of cancer therapy scale-B; PWB=physical well being; SWB=social well being; EWB=emotional well being; FWB=functional well being; BCS=breast cancer subscale.


This study was funded by the graduate school of Ajou University, College of Nursing.


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