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S. Frenkel, H. Rosenne, K. Hendler, R. Baruch, J. Pe’er; Quality of Life of Family Members of Uveal Melanoma Survivors. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):5758.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Growing attention is given in the last decades to the impact of cancer on the lives of family members of cancer patients. The purpose of this study is to describe the quality of life (QOL) of family members of UM survivors as a factor of age, diagnosis, time since diagnosis, primary treatment, overall best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and BCVA in the melanoma eye. This subject has never been studied before.
A cohort of 294 patients who were treated for UM was asked to fill in a QOL questionnaire during a regular clinic visit. When accompanying family members were present at the clinic, they were asked to complete the Caregivers' Quality of Life tool, a 36-items self report questionnaire which includes 4 subscales regarding physical, psychological, social and spiritual well being. Answers ranged from 1 (no problem) to 10 (sever problem). An open question requested a description of other changes in the respondent's life since diagnosis. Independent demographic variables were also collected. Medical information was collected from patients' records.
From January through August 2007, 232 of 294 patients and 113 out of 145 family members completed the questionnaires. Family members reported high QOL regarding physical, emotional, social and spiritual well being. Religious family members reported higher spiritual well being than non-religious. In general, QOL of UM survivors' families appears to be better than that of other cancer survivors' families. A majority (73%) were highly distressed by the diagnosis and 64% by the treatment. No significant difference was found between family members of patients who had enucleation in comparison to patients who had brachytherapy.
Family members of patients who suffer from their eyes are in need of psycho-social intervention. The intervention is needed mainly at the time of diagnosis. All patients and family members need information about physical and psycho-social implications of treatment in the short and long term.
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