A correlational survey to assess the level of stress, coping strategies, and quality of life of female cancer patients related to chemotherapy induced alopecia in Amala Cancer Hospital, Thrissur, Kerala
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Chemotherapy induced alopecia (hair loss) is a common side effect of the chemotherapy regimen. As hair is considered as an important aspect of human identity, loss of hair leads to development of stress and has negative consequences on various aspects of quality of life (QOL) and uses different coping strategies to deal with stress and improve the QOL. The aim of the study to assess the level of stress, coping strategies and QOL of female cancer patients due to chemotherapy induced alopecia and its relationship with each other and to determine association with selected demographic characteristics.
Material and Methods
A correlational survey was carried out on 100 female cancer patients with chemotherapy induced alopecia who were admitted in the inpatient department of oncology. Structured rating scale and interview technique were used for assessing the level of stress, coping strategies and QOL of female cancer patients with chemotherapy induced alopecia.
The overall mean score of level of stress, coping strategies and QOL were 45.5±9.76, 41.32±5.89 and 42.49±7.38 respectively. Majority of patients (78%) had moderate level of stress, (94%) were using effective coping strategies and (83%) had good quality of life. Findings revealed that there was a significant negative correlation (r=-0.66) between level of stress and coping strategies, a significant high negative correlation (r=0.91) between level of stress and quality of life at and a significant positive (r=+0.64) correlation between coping strategies and quality of life. There was a significant association between selected factors such as age (χ2 = 36.08), education (χ2 = 11.71), family support (χ2 = 20.54), social support (χ2 = 19.13) and marital status (χ2 = 17.29) and level of stress. Coping strategies were significantly associated with economic status (χ2 = 10.38), frequency of chemotherapy (χ2 =17.28) and cycles of chemotherapy (χ2 = 12.72) and a significant association between the QOL and age(χ2 = 12.49) and education (χ2 = 9.68) at p<0.05 level.
Majority of patients had moderate level of stress and were using effective coping strategies and had good quality of life. Health professionals must provide health teaching about the side effects to the patients who were receiving chemotherapy so that they can be prevented from psychological stressors and cope with the symptoms effectively and improve the quality of life. Self care guide prepared by the researcher help the patient to deal with the problems of the chemotherapy induced alopecia.
Chemotherapy, alopecia, level of stress, coping strategies, quality of life.