Quality of Life Varies with Pain during Treatment in Adolescents with Cancer
Pain is one of the most feared problems for adolescents with cancer. Pain produces stress with negative physiological and psychological effects. Therefore, effective pain management during cancer treatment may influence the outcome. This study investigates variations in pain and quality of life during treatment in adolescents with cancer, and whether there is a co-variation between the two. In a prospective longitudinal questionnaire investigation, quality of life in eight adolescents with cancer was assessed with the psychological general well-being index (PGWB) and compared with the patients’ experiences of pain according to repeated structured interviews. Pain troubled the adolescents most in the beginning and in the end of the treatment period, but troubled them less in-between. During treatment, quality of life was low in the beginning, higher in the middle and lower in the end. Pain co-varied inversely with quality of life and the adolescents thus seemed to have higher quality of life when pain-relieved. This finding emphasizes the importance of pain management in children and adolescents with cancer.
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