Symptom experiences and quality of life of rural and urban older adult cancer survivors

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William N. Dudley, Professor Public Health Education (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study examined the symptom experience, health-related quality of life, and functional performance of elderly cancer survivors at 1 and 3 months after the completion of initial treatment. The study used a descriptive, comparative, repeated-measures design. A mixed-methods approach combined completion of survey instruments with qualitative interviews. Of the 52 participants, 22 resided in rural (n = 12) or semirural (n = 10) areas and 30 lived in urban settings. There were 23 women and 29 men ranging in age from 65 to 81 years (mean age, 71.53 years). Survivors experienced a significant number of symptoms (mean, 4.58), which were, on average, moderate in intensity and did not differ based on urban or rural residence. The Medical Outcomes Study SF-12 Physical Component Summary was less than the national norm for elderly individuals or those with a chronic disease. There was minimal improvement 3 months after treatment. Elderly survivors, regardless of whether they were rural or urban, experienced a significant number of unrelieved symptoms, including fatigue, pain, and difficulty sleeping. Eighty-eight percent had other chronic diseases. Comorbidities were associated with greater symptom intensity and less physical health status. Survivorship care for elderly adults should include a comprehensive geriatric assessment and tailored strategies for symptom management.

Additional Information

Cancer Nursing, 32(5), 359-369
Language: English
Date: 2009
Symptom experiences, Quality of life, Older adult cancer survivors, Rural, Urban

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