The predictors of poor quality of life in a sample of Saudi women with breast cancer

Anwar E. Ahmed*, Abdulrahman G. Alharbi, Mohannad A. Alsadhan, Alaa S. Almuzaini, Hanin S. Almuzaini, Yosra Z. Ali, Abdul Rahman Jazieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: The protocols for treatment, along with many adverse effects, can strongly affect cancer patients’ quality of life (QoL). As there is limited research on the QoL of Saudi Arabian women being treated for breast cancer, the purpose of this study was to identify the predictors of poor QoL in a sample of Saudi women with breast cancer. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 145 Saudi women with breast cancer who attended the Oncology Outpatient Clinic at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh for routine follow-up. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected for each patient, and a Medical Outcome Study Health Survey 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) instrument was used to assess QoL. Results: Of 145 breast cancer patients studied, 42.1% had a family history of cancer and 52.4% were newly diagnosed cancer patients (first-year-after-cancer diagnosis). According to linear regression analyses, cancer patients with metastasis tended to have pain, along with poor physical function, little vitality, and poor general health (a decrease in SF-36 scores of 22.9, 15.0, 19.4, and 16.9, respectively). Regular exercise was a positive predictor of poor general health (an increase in the SF-36 score of 8.2). Patients with first-year-after-cancer diagnoses tended to have poor emotional well-being (a decrease in the SF-36 score of 8.5). Conclusion: In breast cancer patients, regular exercise was a significant positive predictor of better general health. Breast cancer patients with multiple tumors, metastasis, or fever tended to experience significantly poor QoL in several SF-36 domains. Clearly, a routine assessment of QoL in breast cancer patients is important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Cancer: Targets and Therapy
StatePublished - 9 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Fever
  • Metastasis
  • Multiple tumors
  • Regular exercise
  • SF-36


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