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

George Radiotis
Nicole Roberts
Zofia Czajkowska
Manish Khanna
Annett Körner
ONF 2014, 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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