University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 250

Abstract 2000-2008

Winstead-Fry P, Secker-Walker R, Vacek P, Morgan A, Geller B, Ashley J, Plante D. Comparing two methods of evaluating quality of life in women with breast cancer and with benign breast disease. In Mohan RM (Ed.) Research Advances in Cancer. Kerala, India: Global Research Network, 2000:15-32.

The purpose of the article was to explore the similarities and differences of the Quality of Well-Being (QWB) Instrument and the SF-36 Scale as global measures of quality of life in a sample of women with breast cancer and women with benign breast conditions. The sources of the data were women who had mammograms in the State of Vermont six to eight months prior to the beginning of the study. Two hundred and twenty-seven women with breast cancer and 116 women with benign breast conditions participated in the study. Data were collected through home visits and telephone interviews by trained interviewers. The QWB was administered first for one month and then the SF-36 was administered first for the second month. The scales were alternated on a monthly basis for the duration of the study. The QWB and the SF-36 correlated in the expected direction. The differences between the SF-36 Physical component score between the women with breast cancer and the women with benign breast disease were statistically (t=2.3, p<02) at the initial interview. There was no statistically different scores on either scale for either the women with breast cancer or the women with benign breast disease at follow-up. The results of this study are discussed in the light of other research literature. Based upon this study, we cannot conclude that the QWB or the SF-36 is better as a general measure of quality of life in women with breast cancer and women with benign breast conditions. Further research is needed to develop easily administered measures that can guide clinical practice.

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