Individual, social, and societal correlates of health-related quality of life among African American survivors of ovarian cancer: Results from the African American cancer epidemiology study

Academic Article


  • Objective: While the incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is lower among African American (AA) women compared with European American (EA) women, AA women have markedly worse outcomes. In this study, we describe individual, social, and societal factors in health-related quality of life (HRQL) in AA women diagnosed with EOC in the African American Cancer Epidemiology Study (AACES) that we hypothesize may influence a patient's capacity to psychosocially adjust to a diagnosis of cancer. Methods: There were 215 invasive EOC cases included in the analysis. HRQL was measured using the SF-8 component scores for physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) health. We used least squares regression to test the effects of individual dispositional factors (optimism and trait anxiety); social level (perceived social support); and societal-level factors (SES defined as low family income and low educational attainment, and perceived discrimination) on HRQL, while adjusting for patient age, tumor stage, body mass index, and comorbidity. Mediation analysis was applied to test whether social support and physical activity buffer impacts of EOC on HRQL. Results: Optimism, trait anxiety, social support, poverty, and past perceived discrimination were significantly associated with HRQL following diagnosis of EOC. Specifically, higher family income, lower phobic anxiety, and higher social support were associated with better wellbeing on the MCS and PCS (p < 0.01). Higher perceived discrimination was associated with both lower MCS and PCS, whereas higher optimism was associated with higher MCS. Physical activity (MET-min/week) and social support displayed significant overall mediation for effects of SES on MCS and PCS, but not for trait anxiety. Conclusions: Both pre-A nd postdiagnosis characteristics of AA women with EOC are important predictors of HRQL after cancer diagnosis. Individual, social, and societal-level factors each contribute to HRQL status with EOC and should be assessed.
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    Author List

  • Anderson RT; Peres LC; Camacho F; Bandera EV; Funkhouser E; Moorman PG; Paddock LE; Peters ES; Abbott SE; Alberg AJ
  • Start Page

  • 284
  • End Page

  • 293
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 2