Article Abstract

Gender differences in health-related quality of life among patients with colorectal cancer

Authors: Delara Laghousi, Esmat Jafari, Hosseinali Nikbakht, Behnam Nasiri, Morteza Shamshirgaran, Nayyereh Aminisani


Background: Evidence has shown that colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors, especially women have a lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL). This study aimed to assess the QOL of CRC survivors as well as gender-related differences in the QOL of CRC patients in Northwest of Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in East Azarbijaban. All patients aged ≥18 years, and diagnosed with CRC regardless of its stage and plans for treatment, and also referred to teaching hospitals within a two years’ time frame of 2014–2016, were included in this study. The Persian version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) was completed for each patient by two trained interviewers. Student t-test and χ2 test were used to analyze Gender differences among patients, clinical-epidemiological characteristics, as well as the scores of QLQ-C30 dimensions. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess the relationship between the score of the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire and gender.
Results: Overall 303 patients (166 male, 137 female) with a diagnosis of CRC were included in the study. The mean age of participants was 58.16±13.58 years. The mean scores of physical (b=−14.80, P=0.001) and social functioning (b=−9.14, P=0.038) of women with CRC were more negatively affected than men with CRC. In addition, women had a higher mean score in pain (b=10.74, P=0.022) and fatigue (b=12.53, P=0.007) symptom subscales in comparison to men. Based on the results of multivariate linear regression analysis, gender, occupation, and adjuvant therapy can be considered as the independent and strong predictor factors of functional scale in our CRC patients.
Conclusions: Women appear to be more affected than men by impaired physical and social functioning after the development of cancer, and they reported more fatigue and pain than men. Therefore, it might be advisable to consider strategies to improve the HRQOL in women.