A known cut-off problem hampers the interpretation of quality of life (QOL) scores. The purpose of this study was to apply a novel approach for the EORTC QLQ-C30 instrument to identify the proportion of breast cancer (BC) patients in need of supportive care. Changes in QOL during the COVID-19 pandemic were evaluated, as well as changes over time (after treatment termination and up to 4 years later). Data were obtained from a cohort study on young adult BC patients with minor children participating in a mother–child rehab program. Cross-sectional QOL data were collected from 2015 to 2021 (baseline). Follow-up data were available for up to 4 years after diagnosis for a subgroup. The baseline cohort included 853 women (mean age 35 years). More than 50% had a need for supportive care. In the subgroup with follow-up, this proportion remained at a high level up to several years after diagnosis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, changes regarding the proportion with this need were not as high as expected—with the exception of changes on the QLQ-C30 scale ‘role functioning’ (+15%). Even several years after diagnosis, every second BC patient with minor children had a need for supportive care, which is much higher than previously found. Healthcare staff should be aware of this potential need and should address this issue.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)