Empowerment in adolescents and young adults with cancer: Relationship with health-related quality of life
SourceCancer, 123, 20, (2017), pp. 4039-4047
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: The difficulties adolescents and young adults (AYAs) encounter during a cancer experience may result in a reduction in or absence of empowerment. The aims of the current study were to assess levels of empowerment and associated (demographic, clinical, or psychological) factors and examine the association between empowerment and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among AYA patients with cancer. METHODS: Patients aged 18 to 35 years at time of cancer diagnosis and who were seen by 1 of the members of the specialized multidisciplinary AYA team of the Radboud University Medical Center were invited to complete questionnaires regarding empowerment; HRQOL; and sociodemographic, clinical, and psychological characteristics (autonomy, coping, unmet social support needs, and psychological distress). RESULTS: A total of 83 AYA patients completed the questionnaires. The mean age of the participants at the time of diagnosis was 27.5 years. The vast majority had been treated with chemotherapy (86%), had a more advanced stage of disease, and had completed treatment at the time of participation (74%). The mean empowerment level was 154.1 (standard deviation, 17.8) with a range of 114 to 200. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the autonomy subscales of self-awareness (beta = .35), capacity for managing new situations (beta = .19), and social support (beta = .35) were found to be positively associated with empowerment. Coping difficulties (beta = -.19) were found to be negatively associated with empowerment. Empowerment was independently associated with physical (beta = .31), psychological (beta = .50), social (beta = .39), religious (beta = .33), and total HRQOL (beta = .52; all P<.01). CONCLUSIONS: Low levels of empowerment were associated with low levels of autonomy and social support, female sex, and coping difficulties among AYA patients with cancer. Recognizing these patients as candidates for empowerment interventions ultimately could help to improve HRQOL in late adolescence and young adulthood. Cancer 2017;123:4039-47. (c) 2017 The Authors. Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Cancer Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
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