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Special Issue "Measuring Quality of Life in Chronic Illness"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2023 | Viewed by 1961

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Urszula Religioni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. School of Public Health, Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education of Warsaw, 01-813 Warszawa, Poland
2. Collegium of Business Administration, Warsaw School of Economics, 02-554 Warszawa, Poland
Interests: public health problems; health-related quality of life; health economics; health promotion; health education; teaching methods and techniques; personal development techniques

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The World Health Organization emphasizes that chronic diseases are the major cause of adult illness and death in all regions of the world. Chronic disease, due to its specificity, significantly burdens not only the patient, but also their family and environment, affecting many aspects of life. A chronic disease is associated with limitations in everyday activities and the need for frequent medical visits, as well as medications and the necessity to change the lifestyle. Many of these aspects significantly affect the patient’s quality of life.

Health-related quality of life is a multidimensional area, which includes the physical, mental, and social dimensions. In this respect, beliefs about the disease, acceptance of the disease, strategies for coping with pain, self-efficacy, and methods of emotional control are of great importance. Sociodemographic or socioeconomic variables can also have a significant impact on quality of life. Reports also indicate that quality of life may be determined by health behaviors, such as taking care of physical activity, diet, sleep, relaxation, etc. For this reason, it is necessary to conduct research on all these elements in the life of chronically ill patients. Many studies prove that a better quality of life is associated with greater motivation to care for health or compliance with medical recommendations, which significantly affects the effects of therapy. Assessment of disease impact on the quality of a patient’s life will allow both better planning of disease management and the identification of those factors that have the greatest impact on the quality of life.

Therefore, all articles related to the broadly understood quality of life are invited to this Special Issue, especially those that combine various dimensions of the quality of life and allow the results to be used in clinical practice.

Dr. Urszula Religioni
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • quality of life
  • chronic disease
  • beliefs about the disease
  • health behaviors
  • attitudes toward health
  • disease management
  • psychometric tools
  • health promotion
  • health psychology

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Coping with Stress in Neoplastic Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159675 - 05 Aug 2022
Viewed by 269
Abstract
Introduction: Disease-related stress is a common phenomenon. It also occurs in neoplastic diseases. Since physical and mental health are interrelated, it is important to make sure that treatment covers these two areas. Therefore, it is essential to learn how patients with neoplastic diseases [...] Read more.
Introduction: Disease-related stress is a common phenomenon. It also occurs in neoplastic diseases. Since physical and mental health are interrelated, it is important to make sure that treatment covers these two areas. Therefore, it is essential to learn how patients with neoplastic diseases can cope with stress. Materials and Methods: The respondents are 306 patients suffering from neoplastic diseases, associated in patient advocacy groups. The method is the Brief-COPE (Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced) questionnaire. Results: The following stress management strategies were most commonly adopted by the patients: acceptance (median 2.25; 25–75% IQR 2.0–3.0), active coping (median 2.0; 25–75% IQR (interquartile range) 1.5–2.0), planning (median 2.0; 25–75% IQR 2.0–2.0), emotional support (median 2.0; 25–75% IQR 1.5–2.0), instrumental support (median 2.0; 25–75% IQR 2.0–2.0), self-distraction (median 2.0; 25–75% IQR 1.5–3.0), and venting (median 2.0; 25–75% IQR 1.5–3.0). A decision to adopt a particular stress management strategy by patients with neoplastic diseases was highly affected by demographic factors (p < 0.05), such as sex, education, age, place of residence and employment. Conclusions: Teaching stress management strategies should be a part of the education process among patients with neoplastic diseases. Before or in the course of treatment, an oncology patient should be educated on the prevention of mental health disorders. The ability to cope with stress is one of the key competences for the course of neoplastic diseases and it can affect the treatment process. Stress management in chronic diseases, including neoplastic diseases, should be approached not only at the level of an individual person but also at the level of the health system as a whole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring Quality of Life in Chronic Illness)
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Article
Identification of Cognitive Strategies Used by Cancer Patients as a Basis for Psychological Self-Support during Oncological Therapy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9243; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159243 - 28 Jul 2022
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Background: Cancer diagnosis is associated not only with health problems but also with psycho-social disability. Both medical and non-medical problems have impacts on cancer patients’ quality of life. The aim of the study was the identification of cognitive emotion regulation strategies among cancer [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer diagnosis is associated not only with health problems but also with psycho-social disability. Both medical and non-medical problems have impacts on cancer patients’ quality of life. The aim of the study was the identification of cognitive emotion regulation strategies among cancer patients during radiotherapy. Methods: The study was conducted on 78 radically treated cancer patients (median 63 years). A Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ) was used. Results: Cancer patients mostly used acceptance, positive refocusing, putting into perspective and refocus on planning. Age was inversely correlated with refocus on planning. Patients with higher levels of education tended to use rumination and catastrophizing less frequently (p < 0.05). Adaptive cognitive strategies based on putting into perspective were more frequently used by professionally active patients (p < 0.05). Patients who lived in cities used positive refocusing and putting into perspective significantly often and patients who lived in villages more frequently used catastrophizing (p < 0.05). Among lung cancer patients, catastrophizing and rumination were popular (p < 0.05) and breast cancer patients rarely used non-adaptive cognitive strategies. Conclusion: Cancer patients tended to use adaptive cognitive strategies. Personalized psychological support should be focused on lung cancer patients and older, less educated, unemployed individuals and people who lived in the countryside. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring Quality of Life in Chronic Illness)
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Article
A Comparative Analysis of Quality of Life in Women Diagnosed with Breast and Ovarian Cancer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6705; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116705 - 31 May 2022
Viewed by 423
Abstract
Background: Previous studies showed that cancer significantly reduces the quality of life of patients. The purpose of this study was to analyze changes in the quality of life of women diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer after surgical treatment followed by adjuvant cancer [...] Read more.
Background: Previous studies showed that cancer significantly reduces the quality of life of patients. The purpose of this study was to analyze changes in the quality of life of women diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer after surgical treatment followed by adjuvant cancer therapy. Methods: The study covered 220 women diagnosed with ovarian (n = 89) or breast cancer (n = 131) after surgical treatment followed by adjuvant cancer therapy (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy). The tools used to measure the patients’ quality of life were the standardized EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire, the QLQ-BR23 module for breast cancer and the QLQ-OV28 module for ovarian cancer. Results: The subjective assessment of the health and quality of life of the women was carried out using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire and the QLQ-OV28 and QLQ-BR23 modules. Women with breast cancer rated their health higher than women with ovarian cancer. The health assessment performed by the patients was not related to the type of cancer (p > 0.05). They experienced pain, dyspnea and weakness regardless of the cancer location. Moreover, women’s health status had a clinically significant impact on their family and social life, although no statistically significant differences were found between the two groups (p > 0.05). Whilst the patients with breast cancer rated their quality of life and health higher than the patients with ovarian cancer, the differences were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Changes in the quality of life of women with breast and ovarian cancer concern the physical sphere, hobbies, fatigue/rest, pain, family and social spheres, and material conditions. It is necessary to support specialists at every stage of treatment of these patients, which may improve the results of the treatment and patients’ perception of health and quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring Quality of Life in Chronic Illness)
Article
Coping Strategies Preferred by Patients Treated for Osteoporosis and Analysis of the Difficulties Resulting from the Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5677; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095677 - 06 May 2022
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Osteoporosis has been recognized as a civilization disease. This chronic condition needs a long-term management plan with a holistic approach to patients. The specificity of the patient’s response to the disease and coping strategies are very important in the treatment process. The aim [...] Read more.
Osteoporosis has been recognized as a civilization disease. This chronic condition needs a long-term management plan with a holistic approach to patients. The specificity of the patient’s response to the disease and coping strategies are very important in the treatment process. The aim of this research was to analyze the strategies of coping with disease preferred by patients treated for osteoporosis, and to determine the relationship between the self-assessment of patients’ health, time of treatment, sociodemographic variables, and strategies of coping with a chronic disease such as osteoporosis. The study was conducted from August 2016 to July 2018 at an osteoporosis clinic in eastern Poland. Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced (COPE) by C.S. Carver, M. F. Scheier, and J. K. Weintraub in the Polish adaptation and our own questionnaire were used. The study participants were 312 patients treated for osteoporosis. The respondents treated in the osteoporosis clinic used the strategies of seeking support and focusing on emotions to the greatest extent, and avoidance strategies the least. Sociodemographic features and self-assessment of health condition significantly differentiate the strategies of coping with the disease. The analysis showed that the higher the assessment of the individual perception of one’s own health, the more often the respondents used active coping strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring Quality of Life in Chronic Illness)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Pain Experience in the Course of Endometriosis and Quality of Life of Affected Women
Author: Grażyna Bączek 1, Marta Miętus 2, Julia Klimanek 3, Aneta Duda-Zalewska 4
Affiliation: 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Didactics, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland; 2 Luxmed, Medicover, Warsaw, Poland; 3 St. Sophia’s Specialist Hospital, Żelazna Medical Center, Warsaw, Poland; 4 Department of Public Health, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Abstract: The quality of life of a patient experiencing a chronic disease is an important issue for both science and the life of the individual. Endometriosis is a disease that can be defined as ectopic growth and function of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity and it occurs on average in about 10% of women of reproductive age. The diagnosis of the disease is often long and ambiguous due to the wide variety of symptoms and their intensity. The aim of the study was to find out the opinions of women on the experience of pain in the course of the disease and its impact on the quality of life. Cross-sectional studies were carried out using a diagnostic survey in a group of 650 women. The study group consisted of patients diagnosed with endometriosis (361), and the control group - healthy women with a similar sociodemographic status (289). The research used an original interview questionnaire and a shortened version of the WHOQOL-BREF quality of life questionnaire. The obtained results allow us to conclude that the most important factors deteriorating the quality of life of women suffering from endometriosis include intense pain during menstrual bleeding, abdominal pain, sacral and spine pain, infertility, dyspareunia, and reduced satisfaction in individual areas of life (somatic, psychological, social and environmental). The conclusions from the study can be used in planning effective and comprehensive care for patients with endometriosis. It is necessary to continue research in this area, also with the use of qualitative methods.

Title: Coping with Stress in Neoplastic Diseases
Authors: Dominik Olejniczak 1, Paulina Mularczyk-Tomczewska 1, Krzysztof Klimiuk 2, Agata Olearczyk 1; Karolina Osowiecka 3, Aleksandra Kielan 1; Anna Staniszewska 4
Affiliation: 1 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw; 2 Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdańsk; 3 Department of Psychology and Sociology of Health and Public Health, School of Public Health, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn; 4 Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Warsaw
Abstract: Disease-related stress is a common phenomenon. It also occurs in neoplastic diseases. As physical and mental health are interrelated, so it is important that treatment covers these two areas. Therefore, it is important to learn how cancer patients can cope with stress. Based on the results of the research titled “Coping with Stress in Neoplastic Diseases”, it will be possible to propose a recommendations. The respondents are patients suffering from neoplastic diseases, associated in patient advocacy groups. The method is Mini-COPE questionnaire.

Title: Dealing with Emotional States of Cancer Patients by Using Cognitive Strategies
Authors: Karolina Osowiecka 1, Anna Kieszkowska-Grudny 2,3, Monika Rucińska 4
Affiliation: 1 Department of Psychology and Sociology of Health and Public Health, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland; 2 Minds of Hope, Warsaw, Poland; 3 Psychiatry Clinic, Postgraduate Centre of Medical Education; 4 Department of Oncology Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Abstract: Cancer diagnosis is a traumatic moment in every patient's life. Patients experience various emotions from the time of diagnosis to the start of treatment and return to "normal life". To cope with them they use different cognitive emotion regulation strategies. Some of them can be supportive and some can be destructive during cancer therapy. Therefore it is important to recognize these strategies and introduce psychological support for patients in cooperation with oncologist.

Title: Quality of Life of Patients with Gynaecological Tumours
Authors: Paulina Mularczyk-Tomczewska
Affiliation: Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw, 02-091 Warsaw, Poland
Abstract: Gynecologic cancers are common in women. One of the most important goals in the management of these patients is to improve quality of life, in addition to the traditional outcome of survival. The aim of this study is to assess the quality of life of gynecologic cancer patients in Poland. The cross-sectional study will be conducted on a sample of female patients with gynecological cancers who are patients of the Department of Gynecological Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Warsaw, Poland. The study will be conducted in the months of April-May 2022. Data will be collected through paper-based questionnaires using validated questionnaires and a self-completion questionnaire. After developing gynecologic cancer, women must cope with fundamental changes and challenges to their physical, psychological, and psychosocial well-being. Through this study, it will be possible to determine the quality of life of women with gynecologic cancers and possible areas of intervention.

Title: Managing Strategies with Pain among Patients with Rheumatic Diseases
Authors: Agnieszka Barańska; Magdalena Pazik; Urszula Religioni; Wioleta Kowalska; Anna Kłak; Marian Jędrych; Bartłomiej Drop
Affiliation: Department of Informatics and Medical Statistics, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

Title: Analysis of the Relationship between the Level of Satisfaction with Medical Care and Strategies of Coping with the Disease among Osteoporosis Patients
Authors: Agnieszka Barańska; Urszula Religioni; Joanna Dolar-Szczasny; Ewelina Firlej; Magdalena Bogdan; Anna Kłak; Robert Rejdak
Affiliation: Department of Informatics and Medical Statistics, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

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