Outcomes of Study on Quality Life and Perception of Dyspnea: Patients With Advanced Lung Cancer

Friday, 28 July 2017

Barbara A. Roces, PhD
School of Nursing, West Coast University, North Hollywood, CA, USA

Purpose: This study was proposed to help fill the gap in knowledge regarding quality of life and dyspnea perception in the advanced lung cancer population. The overall purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between quality of life and perception of dyspnea in a group of advanced lung cancer patients.

Methods: This was a descriptive correlational, cross-sectional study. Quality of life was measured using The Assessment of Quality of life at the End of Life (AQEL). Perception of dyspnea was measured using the Cancer Dyspnea Scale (CDS). The participants were 22 patients in a hospice care setting diagnosed with advanced lung cancer that reported dyspnea.

Results:  The aims of this proposed study were formulated to address the research questions of whether relationships existed between relevant demographic variables, the subscales component of AQEL and CDS, and the total score for both the Assessment of Quality of Life at the End of Life and the Cancer Dyspnea Scale. The findings supported the literature review suggestions that there was indeed relationship between the subscales, AQEL, and CDS measurement total scores. In the sample of advanced lung cancer patients in the hospice care setting, results revealed the AQEL subscales (basic function, activity, cognitive function an perception of care) had a significant correlation to the AQEL total score. In addition, the physical symptoms (pain and bowel movement) indicated a strong inverse relationship to the AQEL total score. As indicated by prior research, analysis revealed the CDS subscales (discomfort, anxiety, and sense of effort) had a strong significant relationship to the CDS total score. Furthermore, it is important to note that the result geared toward the second aim of this research study, indicated no significant relationships between the participants demographics, AQEL total score, and CDS total score.

Conclusion: Precipitants of dyspnea included both physical and emotional sensations triggered by immediate reactions connected to participants’ experience of dyspnea perception amongst advanced lung cancer patients in the hospice setting. Therefore, The need to explore numerous interventions in lung cancer and dyspnea is imperative. It is vital that the healthcare team work therapeutically with patients and family to help them live better with illness and its manifestations.