Publication Details

Title :

The predictors of poor quality of life in a sample of Saudi women with breast cancer


Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy


Ahmed AE1, Alharbi AG2, Alsadhan MA3, Almuzaini AS4, Almuzaini HS4, Ali YZ5, Jazieh AR5.


1King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC); College of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.

2College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Al Faisal University, Dammam.

3College of Medicine, King Saud University.

4College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.

5Department of Oncology, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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The protocols for treatment, along with many adverse effects, can strongly affect cancer patients’ quality of life (QoL). As there is limited research on the QoL of Saudi Arabian women being treated for breast cancer, the purpose of this study was to identify the predictors of poor QoL in a sample of Saudi women with breast cancer.


A cross-sectional study was conducted on 145 Saudi women with breast cancer who attended the Oncology Outpatient Clinic at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh for routine follow-up. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected for each patient, and a Medical Outcome Study Health Survey 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) instrument was used to assess QoL.


Of 145 breast cancer patients studied, 42.1% had a family history of cancer and 52.4% were newly diagnosed cancer patients (first-year-after-cancer diagnosis). According to linear regression analyses, cancer patients with metastasis tended to have pain, along with poor physical function, little vitality, and poor general health (a decrease in SF-36 scores of 22.9, 15.0, 19.4, and 16.9, respectively). Regular exercise was a positive predictor of poor general health (an increase in the SF-36 score of 8.2). Patients with first-year-after-cancer diagnoses tended to have poor emotional well-being (a decrease in the SF-36 score of 8.5).


In breast cancer patients, regular exercise was a significant positive predictor of better general health. Breast cancer patients with multiple tumors, metastasis, or fever tended to experience significantly poor QoL in several SF-36 domains. Clearly, a routine assessment of QoL in breast cancer patients is important.