Quality of life among cancer patients at Queen Elizabeth and Kamuzu Central Hospitals in Malawi: a cross-sectional double-center study
Introduction: Many cancer patients experience psychosocial challenges that affect quality of life during the trajectory of their disease process. We aimed at estimating quality of life among cancer patients at two major tertiary hospitals in Malawi.
Methods: The study was conducted among 398 cancer patients using semi-structured questionnaire. Quality of life was measured using EQ-5D-3L instrument.
Results: Mean age was 45 years ± 12.77. Pain (44%) was the most prevalent problem experienced by cancer patients. About 23% had worst imaginable health status on the subjective visual analogues scale. Attending cancer services at QECH (AOR=0.29, 95% CI: 0.17-0.54, p<0.001) and having normal weight (AOR=0.25, 95% CI: 0.08-0.74, p = 0.012), were associated with improved quality of life. A history of ever taken alcohol (AOR= 2.36, 95% CI: 1.02-5.44, p = 0.045) and multiple disease comorbidities (AOR= 3.78, 95% CI: 1.08-13.12, p = 0.037) were associated with poor quality of life.
Conclusion: Loss of earning, pain, marital strife, sexual dysfunction, were among the common psychosocial challenges experienced. History of ever taken alcohol and multiple comorbidities were associated with poor quality of life. There is need to integrate psychosocial solutions for cancer patients to improve their quality of life and outcomes.
Keywords: Cancer patients; quality of life.
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