Impact of Melanoma on Patients' Lives Among 562 Survivors: A Dutch Population-Based Study | Dermatology | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
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February 2011February 21, 2011

Impact of Melanoma on Patients' Lives Among 562 Survivors: A Dutch Population-Based Study

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Dermatology (Drs Holterhues, Cornish, and Nijsten) and Public Health (Dr Coebergh), Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Comprehensive Cancer Centre South, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (Drs van de Poll-Franse and Coebergh); Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases (CoRPS), Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands (Dr van de Poll-Franse); Department of Dermatology, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven (Dr Krekels); Department of Dermatology, St Elisabeth Hospital, Tilburg (Dr Koedijk); and Department of Dermatology, Amphia Hospital, Breda, the Netherlands (Drs Kuijpers and Nijsten).

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(2):177-185. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.433

Objective  To assess the impact of melanoma on the health-related quality of life of patients from the general population up to 10 years after diagnosis and its determinants.

Design  A cross-sectional Dutch population-based postal survey among patients with melanoma for the years 1998 to 2008 using the Eindhoven Cancer Registry.

Main Outcome Measures  The 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), Impact of Cancer (IOC) questionnaire and specific melanoma-related questions. The SF-36 scores of the cases were compared with normative data. Multiple linear regression models were used to identify associated factors of SF-36 and IOC scores.

Results  The response rate was 80%. The mean age of the 562 respondents was 57.3 years; 62% were female, and 76% had a melanoma with a Breslow thickness of less than 2 mm. The SF-36 component scores of patients with melanoma were similar to those of the normative population. In a multiple linear regression model, stage at diagnosis, female sex, age, and comorbidity were significantly associated (P < .05) with the physical and mental component scores. Women were significantly more likely to report higher levels of both positive and negative IOC. Time since diagnosis, tumor stage, and comorbidity were significant predictors of negative IOC scores. Women seemed to adjust their sun behavior more often (54% vs 67%; P < .001) than men and were more worried about the deleterious effects of UV radiation (45% vs 66%; P < .001).

Conclusion  The impact of melanoma seems to be specific and more substantial in women, suggesting that they may need additional care to cope with their melanoma optimally.