Master's Theses

Date of Award

Fall 1992

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Jackie Swanson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship of symptom distress and perceived quality of life in women who have or have had breast cancer. A descriptive, correlational study was conducted with clients from an out-patient Oncology Unit, a private physician's office and members of two local cancer support groups. A convenience sample of 24 metastatic breast cancer patients completed the Demographic sheet, a Symptom Distress Scale and A Quality of Life Index form. It was hypothesized there would be a significant relationship between scores on the Symptom Distress Scale and those on the Quality of Life Index. The Pearson correlation coefficient for the quality of life total and the symptom distress total was -0.3739 (not statistically significant at the 0.05 level). However, it was noted that higher scores on the quality of life index were inversely related to lower scores on the symptom distress scale. Therefore data suggest those individuals experiencing low symptom distress seem to have a higher quality of life. Analysis of variance for quality of life was performed using quality of life score as the dependent variable and chemotherapy (yes or no ) as the independent variable, (F = 5.732, significant at the 0.05 level). Follow-up testing indicated the mean quality of life total for the subjects not having chemotherapy was significantly greater than for subjects who were having or had received chemotherapy. Analysis of variance was performed using symptom distress total as the dependent variable and chemotherapy (yes or no) as the independent variable, (F = 10.2249 significant at the 0.01 level). Follow-up testing indicated that the mean symptom distress total for the subjects having chemotherapy is significantly greater than for the subjects who are not having chemotherapy. No other analysis of variance procedures were performed because the sub-class sizes were too small (<10). A weakness of the study was that technically there should have been at least 10 items per sub-class for a valid analysis of variance. Therefore a Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance was performed using quality of life total as the dependent variable and chemotherapy code (yes or no) as the independent variable. The test statistic for this analysis is distributed as chi square with 1 degree of freedom. The test statistic had a value of 3.375, and it was significant at the 0.0666 significance level. This result indicated the mean quality of life total for the subjects who were not presently receiving chemotherapy was significantly greater than those who are presently having chemotherapy. K ruskal-Wa11is one-way analysis of variance was also performed for symptom distress using the same variables. The test statistic had a value of 6.8299, and it was significant at the 0.0090 significance level. This result indicated that the mean symptoms distress total for the subjects who are presently having chemotherapy is significantly greater than for the subjects who are no longer receiving chemotherapy. From this study, further nursing interventions will be formulated.

Rights

Copyright 1992 Donna Stephenson

Comments

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