Quality of life as a parameter determining therapeutic choices in cancer care in a Greek sample

Mystakidou, K.; Tsilika, E.; Befon, S.; Kululias, V.; Vlahos, L.
September 1999
Palliative Medicine;1999, Vol. 13 Issue 5, p385
Academic Journal
Health-related quality of life (HRQL) is difficult to define and measure. It is a generic term that includes concepts such as physical health, life satisfaction, psychological well-being and self-integrity. Realizing and appreciating the importance of HRQL is crucial for physicians if they are to be in a position to offer appropriate suggestions in assisting patients and their families in the decision-making process regarding cancer treatment and terminal care. In order to determine whether Greek physicians take into consideration HRQL when assessing different therapeutic options, we conducted a postal survey. A total of 1500 Greek physicians (internists, oncologists and anaesthesiologists) were asked to complete a questionnaire. We received replies from 1280 (85%). In summary, we found that Greek physicians: (1) have already started taking HRQL into consideration when reviewing their therapeutic options; (2) increasingly include HRQL in research studies as an outcome measure; (3) do not yet have thoroughly sufficient training in the holistic care of cancer patients and their families; (4) mostly do not have the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary therapeutic teams where they can exchange ideas and consider different aspects of alternative therapeutic methods. It is concluded that HRQL has already been introduced as an important determinant of therapeutic choices in cancer care in Greece. However, efforts need to be made to allow HRQL to enjoy its appropriate place in cancer care.


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