Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer: Disease-Specific Quality-of-Life Concerns and Distress

George Radiotis

Nicole Roberts

Zofia Czajkowska

Manish Khanna

Annett Körner

nonmelanoma skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, psychosocial concerns, quality of life, distress, importance of appearance
ONF 2013, 41(1), 57-65. DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.57-65

Purpose/Objectives: To provide a better understanding of the disease-specific quality-of-life (QOL) concerns of patients with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC).

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting: Skin cancer clinic of Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Sample: 56 patients with basal cell carcinoma and/or squamous cell carcinoma.

Methods: Descriptive and inferential statistics applied to quantitative self-report data.

Main Research Variables: Importance of appearance, psychological distress, and QOL.

Findings: The most prevalent concerns included worries about tumor recurrence, as well as the potential size and conspicuousness of the scar. Skin cancer-specific QOL concerns significantly predicted distress manifested through anxious and depressive symptomology. In addition, the social concerns related to the disease were the most significant predictor of distress.

Conclusions: The findings of this study provide healthcare professionals with a broad picture of the most prevalent NMSC-specific concerns, as well as the concerns that are of particular importance for different subgroups of patients.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses are in a position to provide pivotal psychosocial and informational support to patients, so they need to be aware of the often-overlooked psychosocial effects of NMSC to address these issues and provide optimal care.

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