Quality of life and its determinants in adult cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Likewise, in Pakistan, it is a major health problem, with an approximate increase of 150,000 cancer cases each year. Cancer and its treatment, particularly chemotherapy produces a detrimental effect on individuals' wellbeing. Since the past few years, quality of life is considered as the primary goal of cancer treatment in patients' survival. This study aimed to assess the quality of life and its determinants in adult cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods A quantitative, analytical cross-sectional design was employed to achieve the study objectives. A total of 150 adult (>19 years) cancer patients, receiving chemotherapy, were recruited from the day care oncology department, AKUH. The data was collected through interviews, using the functional assessment of cancer therapy-general (TACT-G), quality of life questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized for data analysis. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the effect of predictor variables with the mean QOL score. Findings The study revealed an overall mean score of QOL as 57.37. The physical and emotional wellbeing were the domains mainly affected by the chemotherapy treatment. Variables such as no previous hospitalization and no significant changes in life events were positively associated with the QOL. On the other hand, being female, unemployed, and chemotherapy side effects (> 1 week), impaired socialization, and discrimination by family/relatives were negatively associated with the QOL. The common coping strategy adapted by the majority of the participants was religion (prayers). Conclusion This study indicates that the QOL among the study participants was poor. Chemotherapy is recognized as a stressful treatment, which adversely affects the QOL of cancer patients. Interventions should focus on both the physical and psychological issues, and need to be addressed, in order to improve the quality of life of adult cancer patients in Pakistan.

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