Quality of life in long-term cancer survivors.

B. R. Ferrell, K. H. Dow, S. Leigh, J. Ly, P. Gulasekaram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

251 Scopus citations


PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To describe the quality of life (QOL) of long-term cancer survivors. DESIGN: Descriptive, mailed survey. SETTING: Membership of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), which is a nonprofit, peer-support network for people living with cancer. SAMPLE: 687 (57%) of the 1,200 members of NCCS completed the survey. The mean age of the sample was 49.6 years; 81% were female. The predominant cancer diagnoses were breast (43%), lymphoma (9%), ovarian (8%), and Hodgkin's disease (8%). METHODS: Mailed survey using three instruments: a demographic tool, the Quality of Life-Cancer Survivors (QOL-CS) tool, and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) tool. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Subscale and individual items of QOL including physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. FINDINGS: Results include areas of positive effects for cancer survivors and continued demands of survivorship. Based on scoring of 0 (worst outcome) to 10 (best outcome), cancer survivors' mean QOL-CS subscores were 5.88 for psychological well-being, 6.59 for spiritual well-being, 6.62 for social well-being, and 7.78 for physical well-being. Several demographic factors (e.g., evidence of active disease; female gender; presence of spouse/partner or children; length of time since diagnosis; income) had significant influence on QOL. CONCLUSIONS: Cancer survivors experienced altered lives and had needs related to fear of recurrence and facing the spiritual aspects of having survived a life-threatening illness. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: The growing population of cancer survivors has long-term needs for nursing care that address multidimensional aspects of QOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-922
Number of pages8
JournalOncology nursing forum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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