Quality of life in breast cancer survivors as identified by focus groups.Psychooncology 1997; 6(1):13-23P
Currently, over 1,700,000 women are living with breast cancer in the United States. These long-term survivors of breast cancer are challenged to redirect their energy from issues of cancer treatment and early side effects toward quality of life issues related to long-term survivorship, such as menopause, infertility, fear of recurrence, family distress, and uncertainty. In an attempt to obtain patient perspectives on quality of life and health care issues faced by breast cancer survivors, focus group methodology was utilized in the first year of a 2 year study. The sample was stratified to represent three age groups: < 40 years, 40-60 years, and > 60, and was intended to represent different developmental levels believed to have varying experiences with quality of life and potentially divergent needs following breast cancer diagnosis. Results of these focus groups revealed unique quality of life concerns of breast cancer survivors across four domains of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well being. Each of these domains yields important implications for future research and clinical practice.