Quality of Life in Cancer Patients: Latin American Literature Integrative Review

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Namie Okino Sawada, PhD1
Alexandra P. Zandonai, BA2
Fernanda M. C. Cardozo, BA2
Isabo N. G. Nieto, BA2
1Department of General and Specialized Nursing, School of Nursing of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
2General and Specialized Nursing Department, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

Learning Objective 1: Recognize the paucity of research on quality of life in cancer patients.

Learning Objective 2: Identify the need to develop researches about the subject in question.

Introduction: In Brazil in 2008 it is estimated 466,730 new cases of cancer. Research on Quality of Life (QoL) in cancer patients are important to raise the domain affected and plan interventions of nursing for rehabilitation of these patients. In that perspective, search the knowledge generated from research on the QoL in cancer patients provide the rehabilitation plane and gaps of this knowledge. Objectives: characterized the scientific production on Latin American of QoL in cancer patients; identify the issues related to QoL in adult patients with cancer; identify the instruments used to assess the QoL in adult patients with cancer. Methods: One of the strategies for achieving the evidence-based practice is the review integrative proposed by Ganong (1987). Results: The sample consists at 19 articles categorized in QoL in different types of cancer (78,9%), QoL and the chemotherapy treatment (15,8%) and QoL and the alternative / complementary medicine (5,3%). As a result of the large number of the studies with evidence’s level of 6, considered studies that do not portray strong evidences. This review found a higher concentration of studies in the category QoL in the various types of head and neck cancer that makes us reflect about the side effects of treatment, such as mutilation, functional changes and aesthetic that influence in activities of daily living of patients. Conclusion: We indicated the need of research QoL with rigid criteria so that reflects a strong evidence and reliability to the reproduction of the results. Corresponding to the evidence-based practice, designated to show and to strengthen the nurse-researcher role, assistant and educator, accomplishes to emphasize the importance of developing effective intervention studies to subsidize the practice of nursing and to guarantee an attendance free from damages, and consequently a better QoL to the patients oncology.