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Data for: Assessment of quality of life (QoL) in cancer patients

Cite this dataset

Islam, Nazmul et al. (2023). Data for: Assessment of quality of life (QoL) in cancer patients [Dataset]. Dryad.


Background: A cancer patient's quality of life (QoL) is the perception of their physical, functional, psychological, and social well-being as well as their mental and emotional state. QoL is one of the most important factors to consider when a person is being treated for cancer and during follow-up. The present study aimed to understand the status of QoL of cancer patients and determine the factors affecting it.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 210 cancer patients attending the oncology unit of a medical college, within a 4-month consecutive time period in 2022. Data were collected by using the Bengali version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer questionnaire.

Results: The present study reported a high number of female cancer patients (67.6%). Breast cancer was more common among females (31.43%) while lung and upper respiratory tract cancer was among males (19.05). Most of the patients in the present study were diagnosed with cancer in the past year (86.19%). The functional scales' overall mean scores varied from 54.92 for physical functioning to 38.89 for social functioning. The highest symptom scale score was for financial issues (63.02), while the lowest was for diarrhea (33.01). The overall QoL of cancer patients in the present study was 47.98 which was 45.71 for males and 49.10 for females respectively.  

Conclusion: The overall QoL was poor in cancer patients in the present study compared to the developed countries. There was a low score for QoL for social and emotional function. Financial difficulty was the primary reason behind low QoL in the symptom scale. If the government supports cancer patients by providing subsidies for treatment and health insurance policies, cancer patients will benefit and QoL will improve.


The study proposal and consent form were approved by the Ethics Committee. The present study was conducted in the Oncology Unit of a medical college within a 4-month consecutive time period in 2022. The expected number of new cancer patients visiting the department was 400 during the study period. We chose p = 0.50, q = 0.50, Z = 1.96, and E = 0.04 for N = 400, and the minimum sample size was calculated to be n = 196. For the purpose of this study, permission was sought from European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) to use the Bengali version of their EORTC QLQ C30 questionnaire. EORTC provided the research tool and scoring manuals for the study. The 30-item questionnaire covers 15 domains which consist of five functioning scales (physical functioning, social functioning, role functioning, emotional functioning, and cognitive functioning) and nine symptom scales (fatigue, pain, nausea/vomiting, dyspnea, sleep disturbances, appetite loss, diarrhea, constipation, and financial difficulties) and one global health status/ quality of life scale.(Aaronson et al., 1993) Strong scores on the functioning and global health status/QoL scales on the 100-point meter suggest high QoL, whereas high scores on the symptom scales indicate a high symptom burden.(Fayers PM et al., 2001)

Data were collected 2 days each week. All adult patients who came to the outpatient clinic and all patients newly admitted to the inpatient clinic on those days were administered the questionnaire in person by the first author. The study objective was explained to the patients and verbal consent was obtained. Patients who were interviewed for this study previously, those who could not provide consent (unconscious), patients with suspected cancer but without a confirmed report, and patients less than 18 years of age were excluded. Socio-demographic characteristics such as age at treatment, gender, marital status, religion, economic status, and education were obtained from the patients. The information on clinical status such as the site of the primary tumor, stage of the tumor, and type of treatment was recorded from the clinical documentation. 

Usage notes

The identifying information in the dataset is limited to three variables and other variables are removed (religion, district, marital status, education, employment, economic status, duration of hospitalization [as this in combination with survey date can be an identifier], cancer type, stage, and treatment). These modifications were required for dataset approval.

The collected data were entered into an Excel worksheet, exported to SPSS v 21, and analyzed. The descriptive statistics were used to describe the mean, the standard deviation (SD), and the cancer type, stage, and treatment distribution.