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Quality of Life in Cervical Cancer Survivors: A Review of the Literature and Directions for Future Research

Ying Chun Zeng

Shirley Ching

Alice Yuen Loke

literature review, cervix neoplasms, quality of life
ONF 2011, 38(2), E107-E117. DOI: 10.1188/11.ONF.E107-E117

Purpose/Objectives: To describe the most current trends in quality-of-life (QOL) research in cervical cancer survivors and to discuss directions for future research.

Data Sources: A literature search was conducted among five electronic databases using the terms cervical or cervix cancer, quality of life, survivors, survivorship, measurement, and instruments. Articles were published either in English or Chinese from January 2005 to June 2009.

Data Synthesis: Thirty-one articles were identified. The major QOL issues among cervical cancer survivors were categorized at the individual and systemic levels. The most current trends include research into the positive and negative aspects of cancer survivorship; studies that examine unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, which contribute to poor QOL; studies concerned with the impact of cervical cancer survivorship on male partners and family caregivers; and three primary types of instruments used for assessment.

Conclusions: Future research directions should include (a) exploring and optimizing the positive outcomes of cervical cancer survivorship, (b) using interventions to reduce risky lifestyles or unhealthy behaviors, (c) conducting exploratory studies to determine the impact of cervical cancer survivorship on families, (d) conducting longitudinal studies to document the ongoing changes in QOL among cervical cancer survivors, and (e) developing new instruments to assess the systemic level of QOL.

Implications for Nursing: Expanding the understanding of QOL and related factors in cervical cancer survivors would enable nurses to assess and develop interventions to improve QOL and overall survival outcomes for this population.

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