Quality of life among women after surgery for ovarian cancer

Dena Schulman-Green, Elizabeth Ercolano, Michael Dowd, Peter Schwartz, Ruth McCorkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Difficulties with diagnosis and aggressive, long-term treatment may result in lower quality of life (QOL), including high levels of anxiety, depression, and uncertainty, greater symptom distress, and lower overall QOL among women with avarian cancer. The purpose of this study was to describe demographic, clinical, and other risk factors associated with compromised QOL among women who have undergone surgery for avarian malignancies. Methods: Subjects were recruited to participate in a clinical trial that tested a specialized nursing intervention addressing psychological and physical care among women post-surgical for avarian cancer. QOL was measured using five standardized self-report measures: the State-Trait Anxiety Scale (SAS), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale (MUIS), the Symptom Distress Scale (SDS), and the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12). Baseline data were collected while women were hospitalized following surgery. Results: The sample (n=145) included women with avarian cancer (58%) and other cancers metastasized to the avaries and abdomen (42%). Mean scores on the measures were consistent with or higher than previously reported means for similar populations. Women reporting the lowest QOL were more likely to be younger, more educated, and have early stage disease. Significance of results: Women who have undergone surgery for ovarian malignancies have psychological needs that are often considered secondary to physical needs. Interventions should include routine screening for distress and referral to appropriate psychological and social services, thereby facilitating quality cancer care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Cancer
  • Distress
  • Gynecological surgery
  • Ovarian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Quality of life among women after surgery for ovarian cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this