UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Distress and quality of life : An exploratory study of Chinese-speaking cancer patients and family caregivers in Canada Lee, Joyce Wai Kuan; Sawatzky, Richard; Gotay, Carolyn C., 1951-; Kazanjian, Arminée, 1947-


Objective: This study explores the relationships of patient distress, family caregiver distress and patient quality of life (QOL) in a Chinese-speaking cancer population, using a comparison group of Anglophone patients and family caregivers in British Columbia, Canada. Methods: Quantitative regression analysis of survey data was conducted to examine the direct and indirect effects of patient and family caregiver distress on patient QOL based on data from 29 Chinese-speaking and 28 Anglophone dyads. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of ten Chinese-speaking patients and six family caregivers to further clarify the interrelationships among patient distress, family caregiver distress and patient QOL. Results: Patient distress was a significant predictor of patient QOL (β = -.79). The effects of patient age on patient emotional well-being were mediated by patient distress, such that lower distress in older patients explained better emotional functioning. A key theme from the qualitative data analysis was the emotional regulation of patient and family caregiver, where both sought to regulate their emotions to protect each other from further cancer-related distress. Conclusion: These results highlight the importance of understanding the patients’ and family members’ cultural and social context, in patient- and family-centred care.

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