Gender differences in predictors of quality of life at the initiation of radiation therapy

Claudia West, Steven M. Paul, Laura Dunn, Anand Dhruva, John Merriman, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate gender differences in quality of life (QOL), demographic, clinical, and symptom characteristics. Design: Prospective, observational. Setting: Two radiation oncology departments in northern California. Sample: 185 patients before initiation of radiation therapy (RT). Methods: At their RT simulation visit, patients completed a demographic questionnaire, a measure of QOL, and symptom-specific scales. Backward elimination regression analyses were conducted to determine the significant predictors of QOL. Main Research Variables: QOL, gender, and 20 potential predictors. Findings: In women, depressive symptoms, functional status, age, and having children at home explained 64% of the variance in QOL. In men, depressive symptoms, state anxiety, number of comorbidities, being a member of a racial or ethnic minority, and age explained 70% of the variance in QOL. Conclusions: Predictors of QOL differed by gender. Depressive symptom score was the greatest contributor to QOL in both genders. Implications for Nursing: Nurses need to assess for QOL and depression at the initiation of RT. Knowledge of the different predictors of QOL may be useful in the design of gender-specific interventions to improve QOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-516
Number of pages10
JournalOncology nursing forum
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gender differences
  • Quality of life
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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