METHODS: This study is from the MyBCC cohort study. Two hundred and twenty one female breast cancer patients were included into the study. They were assessed at the time of diagnosis, 6 months and 12 month using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and distress thermometer. The information on age, ethnicity, treatment types and staging of cancer were collected.
RESULTS: 50.2%, 51.6% and 40.3% of patients had perceived high level of distress at baseline, 6 months and 1 year after diagnosis. Those with high perceived level of distress had significant higher anxiety scores even after adjusted for the underlying depressive scores (Adjusted OR at baseline = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.13-1.44; adjusted OR at 6 months = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.11-1.45; adjusted OR at 12 months = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.29-1.76). There were no significant differences in the depressive scores between the subjects with either low or high distress level. There was reduction in perceived level of distress, anxiety and depression scores at 12 months after the diagnosis. The decrease of distress was positively correlated with the reduction of anxiety scores but not the changes of depressive scores (r' = 0.25).
CONCLUSION: Anxiety is a more significant psychological state that contributed to the feeling of distress in breast cancer as compared with depression. Levels of anxiety at diagnosis in this study would justify screening for anxiety, early identification and therapy for maintaining the psychological well-being of breast cancer patients. Further studies will be needed to measure the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the quality of life (QOL) scores among breast cancer patients at a Malaysian public hospital.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study of breast cancer patients was conducted between March to June 2013. QOL scores were determined using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast cancer supplementary measure (QLQ-BR23). Both the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23 assess items from functional and symptom scales. The QLQ-C30 in addition also measures the Global Health Status (GHS). Systematic random sampling was used to recruit patients.
RESULTS: 223 breast cancer patients were recruited with a response rate of 92.1%. The mean age of the patients was 52.4 years (95% CI = 51.0, 53.7, SD=10.3). Majority of respondents are Malays (60.5%), followed by Chinese (19.3%), Indians (18.4%), and others (1.8%). More than 50% of respondents are at stage III and stage IV of malignancy. The mean Global Health Status was 65.7 (SD = 21.4). From the QLQ-C30, the mean score in the functioning scale was highest for 'cognitive functioning' (84.1, SD=18.0), while the mean score in the symptom scale was highest for 'financial difficulties' (40.1, SD=31.6). From the QLQ-BR23, the mean score for functioning scale was highest for 'body image' (80.0, SD=24.6) while the mean score in the symptom scale was highest for 'upset by hair loss' (36.2, SD=29.4). Two significant predictors for Global Health Status were age and employment. The predictors explained 10.6% of the variation of global health status (R2=0.106).
CONCLUSIONS: Age and employment were found to be significant predictors for Global Health Status (GHS). The Quality of Life among breast cancer patients reflected by the GHS improves as age and employment increases.
OBJECTIVE: To propose a model that provides a methodological tool to increase women's participation in the decision making process towards breast cancer prevention. To address this, an evaluation framework was developed that includes a typology of community participation approaches (models) in health, as well as five levels of participation in health programs proposed by Rifkin (1985 and 1991).
METHOD: This model explains the community participation approaches in breast cancer prevention in Iran. In a 'medical approach', participation occurs in the form of women's adherence to mammography recommendations. As a 'health services approach', women get the benefits of a health project or participate in the available program activities related to breast cancer prevention. The model provides the five levels of participation in health programs along with the 'health services approach' and explains how to implement those levels for women's participation in available breast cancer prevention programs at the local level.
CONCLUSION: It is hoped that a focus on the 'medical approach' (top-down) and the 'health services approach' (top-down) will bring sustainable changes in breast cancer prevention and will consequently produce the 'community development approach' (bottom-up). This could be achieved using a comprehensive approach to breast cancer prevention by combining the individual and community strategies in designing an intervention program for breast cancer prevention.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the practice of BSE and its correlated factors and particularly barriers amongst urban women in Malaysia.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 222 Malaysian women using a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS: The mean (SD) age was 28.5 (±9.2) years, 59.0% were university graduates. Of the total, 81.1% were aware of breast cancer and 55% practiced BSE. Amongst 45% of respondents who did not practice BSE, 79.8% did not know how to do it, 60.6% feared being diagnosed with breast cancer, 59.6% were worried about detecting breast cancer, 22% reported that they should not touch their bodies, 44% and 28% reported BSE is embarrassing or unpleasant, 29% time consuming, 22% thought they would never have breast cancer or it is ineffective and finally 20% perceived BSE as unimportant. Logistic regression modeling showed that respondents aged ≥45 years, being Malay, married and having a high education level were more likely to practice BSE (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: In this study sample, a significant proportion of respondents was aware of breast cancer but did not practice BSE. Knowledge, psychological, cultural, perception and environmental factors were identified as barriers. BSE practice was associated significantly with socio-demographic factors and socioeconomic status.
METHOD: The clinical trial was conducted at University Malaya Medical Centre between 2006 and 2008. The experimental group underwent a 4-week self management program, and the control group underwent usual care. Two years after the intervention, questionnaires were randomly posted out to the participants.
RESULTS: A total of 51 questionnaires returned. There were statistically differences between groups in psychological, self-care, mobility and participation aspects in PIPP (p<0.05). The experimental group reported having higher confidence to live with breast cancer compared to control group (p<0.05). There were significant between-group changes in anxiety scores at T2 (immediately after intervention) to T4 (two years later), and the differences in anxiety scores within groups between time point T2 and T4 were significantly different (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The SAMA program is potentially capable to serve as a model intervention for successful transition to survivorship following breast cancer treatment. The program needs to be further tested for efficacy in a larger trial involving more diverse populations of women completing breast cancer treatment.
METHODS: We used a grounded theory approach to analyze three focus groups conducted between May and August 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. We used random sampling to recruit the informants (n=21), all of whom had earlier participated in the 4 week self-management program held two years previously.
FINDINGS: The women reported positive experience and growth with the self management program. Self-efficacy appears as an important underlying theme for successful experiences. The lack of proactive plans to provide bereavement support to surviving women was a key negative experience.
CONCLUSION: The intervention successfully brought women together to work in close partnership with health professionals on ways to self manage the medical, emotional and role task as they live indefinitely with breast cancer, a new chronic illness. The beneficial effect from the 4 week intervention was expressed by women even at 2 years after the program. Having successfully developed a tightly knitted group, a major oversight was the lack of professional support on bereavement for grieving members when close friends passed away.
MATERIAL AND METHOD: The functional assessment of chronic illness therapy (FACIT) system is a collection of QOL questionnaires targeted to measure QOL in chronic illness. The functional assessment of cancer therapy for breast cancer (FACT-B) was translated into the local language (Malayalam) and tested for validity and reliability.
RESULTS: The tool thus developed showed substantial sensitivity, as does the source tool. The Cronbach's alpha for the total FACT-B was 0.87, which is similar to the alpha of 0.9 observed in the FACT-B English version. The mean FACT-B score was 94.3 compared to 112.8 for the source tool.
CONCLUSION: The Malayalam translation of the FACT-B questionnaire was developed, tested and validated, and was found satisfactory in comparison to the source tool.