Psychosocial Analysis of Cancer Survivors in Rural NSW, Australia — ASN Events

Psychosocial Analysis of Cancer Survivors in Rural NSW, Australia (#266)

Zia Ansari 1 , Mathew K George 1
  1. Medical Oncology, Tamworth Rural and Referral Hospital, Tamworth, NSW, Australia


Cancer treatments can have long term physical, psychological, sexual and cognitive effects that may influence quality of life. This can vary from urban to rural areas, survival period and according to the type of cancer.


In this study we aimed to analyse the psychosocial aspects of various cancers survivors who have visited a rural oncology clinic in New England region, Australia.


In this cross sectional study 65 consenting participants were given self administered questionnaire while visiting Oncology outpatient clinic. The inclusion criteria included three years after diagnosis of cancers. Excluded were those who were having active cancer treatment. Three domains were studied using a standardised and validated tool (Quality of life in adult cancer survivors scale Avis NE et al, Quality of life research, 14, 1007-1023 and Personal and household finances (HILDA survey). This includes demographic parameters, quality of life, treatment information and wellbeing.


51 participants responded. Most of the participants were under 65 years of age and females (64.7%).  49% were breast cancer followed by colo-rectal cancer (39.2%). Regarding the psychological functions 49% reported feeling happy often and 25.5% always; 41.2% felt depressed rarely. 56.9% reported that they enjoyed life always. 31.4% were never bothered by pain. Majority of patients reported positive outlook on life. Although 25.5% stated that they were always and 33.3% sometimes worried about dying. Almost half of patients were content with life.  45% reported that they appreciated life more because of cancer diagnosis. 33% never worried and 15.7% rarely worried about their appearance. 33.3% always worried that cancer would come back. 50% had no financial issues because of cancer.


Psychosocial aspects of cancer patients who survived for more than three years in a rural setting have shown reasonably good quality of life in all domains.

  1. N. Avis, E. Ip and K. L. Foley, “Evaluation of the Quality of Life in Adult Cancer Survivors (QLACS) scale for long-term cancer survivors in a sample of breast cancer survivors.,” Health Quality Life Outcomes, vol. 4, p. 92, 2006.
  2. N. Avis, K. Smith, S. McGraw, R. Smith, V. Petronis and C. Carver, “Assessing quality of life in adult cancer survivors (QLACS),” Quality Life Resource, vol. 14, pp. 1007-1023, 2005.