Disparities in quality of life, social distress and employment outcomes in Australian cancer survivors

Victoria M. White, Karolina Lisy, Andrew Ward, Eli Ristevski, Melanie Clode, Kate Webber, Jon Emery, Maarten J. IJzerman, Nina Afshar, Jeremy Millar, Peter Gibbs, Sue Evans, Michael Jefford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: To examine how socio-demographic, comorbidities and information needs influence quality of life (QoL) outcomes of survivors of breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma or melanoma. Methods: Cross-sectional postal survey with eligible participants identified through a population-based cancer registry. QoL outcomes were assessed by EQ-5D-5L, social difficulties index (SDI) and, for those employed at diagnosis, current employment. Regression analyses explored associations between outcome variables and cancer type, age, time since diagnosis, residential location, socio-economic disadvantage, comorbidities and unmet information needs. Mediation analyses examined whether comorbidities and information needs explained relationships between outcome variables and socio-economic disadvantage. Results: 2115 survivors participated. Mean EQ-5D-5L scores (mean = 0.84) were similar to population averages and SDI scores were low for the entire sample (mean = 3.80). In multivariate analyses, being aged over 80, greater socio-economic disadvantage, comorbidities and unmet information needs decreased EQ-5D-5L scores. Higher SDI scores were associated with socio-economic disadvantage, comorbidities and unmet information needs. Not being employed was associated with being aged over 50, more comorbidities and socio-economic disadvantage. Comorbidities but not information needs partially mediated the impact of socio-economic disadvantage on EQ-5D-5L and SDI accounting for 17% and 14% of the total effect of socio-economic disadvantage respectively. Neither comorbidities nor information needs mediated the association between socio-economic disadvantage and employment outcomes. Conclusions: To improve quality of life, survivorship care should be better tailored to address the needs of individuals given their overall health and impact of comorbidities, their age and type of cancer and not simply time since diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5299-5309
Number of pages11
JournalSupportive care in cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Cancer survivors
  • Disparities
  • Employment
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Quality of life
  • Social difficulties


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