A structural analysis of the impact of breast cancer on positive and negative domains of quality of life
Kerenyi, Laura Maria
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This study utilized multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis in order to assess the underlying structure of negative and positive aspects of quality of life in a group of 26 women who had been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. A free response methodology identified 59 negative and 52 positive quality of life items. Negative items were rated on three scales; importance, stressfulness, and impact on quality of life. Positive items were also rated on three scales, importance, positive impact, and impact on quality of life. Six specific clusters were identified for the negative quality of life items; emotional response, self image, relationship issues, career/employment issues, side effects, and physical changes. Five specific clusters were identified for the positive quality of life items; self reappraisal/mindfulness, spiritual growth, health awareness, strengthened interpersonal relationships, and enhanced family relationships. These findings are unique in that they indicate that negative quality of life for women with breast cancer encompasses three main domains for women with breast cancer; physical well-being, emotional well-being, and employment. However, the study also identifies potential protective factors that aid in improving quality of life for women with breast cancer. These include spiritual well-being, active coping, benefit finding and optimism.