Objectives: To compare the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of women who did (receivers, n = 372) and did not (intentional nonreceivers, n = 46) receive all recommended adjuvant treatments for breast cancer.
Sample & Setting: Women were recruited through integrative oncology clinics and the Cancer Surveillance System registry in western Washington.
Methods & Variables: A cross-sectional and correlational study using secondary data was conducted. Self-reported data included involvement in treatment decision making (TDM) and HRQOL. Registry data included demographics, disease characteristics, and records on recommended treatments as well as receiving/not receiving them. Descriptive statistics, t tests, chi-square tests, correlations, and analysis of variance were used to compare receivers and intentional nonreceivers.
Results: Among women who were “very involved” in TDM and those who reported their involvement as “just right,” intentional nonreceivers scored higher in role-physical, general health, and vitality than receivers after controlling for demographic and disease characteristics.
Implications for Nursing: Nurses need to be aware that intentional nonreceivers of adjuvant therapy, particularly if assessed as “very involved” and “just right” involvement in deciding to refuse treatment, may report better HRQOL than receivers, which could be attributed to lack of common side effects from adjuvant treatment.