Publication of the Month: May 2015

Quality of life domains important and relevant to family caregivers of advanced cancer patients in an Asian population: a qualitative study’ by Geok Ling Lee, Mandy Yen Ling Ow, Ramaswamy Akhileswaran, Grace Su Yin Pang, Gilbert Kam Tong Fan, Brandon Huat Heng Goh, Cai Fong Wong, Yin Bun Cheung, and Hwee Lin Wee

Quality of Life Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11136-014-0832-3



This study aims to identify domains of quality of life (QoL) that are culturally relevant to Chinese caregivers of advanced cancer patients in Singapore and to evaluate content adequacy of currently available instruments for use in the target population.


English- and Chinese-speaking caregivers of advanced cancer patients receiving care under a tertiary cancer center and/or a community hospice home care/day care provider were recruited for in-depth interviews. The interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. The identified domains, themes and sub-themes were compared to concepts addressed by items from five existing cancer-specific caregiver QoL instruments.


Eighteen female and eight male caregivers aged 28–74 years participated in the study. Twenty-nine QoL themes and 59 sub-themes were identified in six domains, namely physical health, mental health, social health, spiritual health, financial health and daily life. Collectively, but not individually, the content of the five existing instruments adequately cover the physical health domain, social health domain and some themes on mental health domain for the study population. Content gaps were identified in the domains of mental health, spiritual health, daily life and financial health.


The present study found culturally and contextually specific themes and sub-themes about positive emotional health, spiritual health and financial health.

 B0006421 Breast cancer cells
(Photo by Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images)

Lee Geok Ling is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work.

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