Introduction/Background With improved survivorship and limited resources for follow-up care, patients are expected to manage their disease well beyond active treatment. Little is known about the factors that empower patients to thrive after gynaecological cancer. In three Northern European countries, we aimed to 1) identify and characterize subgroups of gynaecological cancer survivors based on self-management skills, and 2) assess what socio-demographic and clinical factors are associated with these subgroups.
Methodology In the InCHARGE study (International Collaboration of Healthcare professionals And Researchers for Gynaecological cancer survivors’ Empowerment), patients with ovarian, endometrial and cervical cancers participated in a self-administered survey at 1–7 years after initial diagnosis. Questionnaires included sociodemographic and clinical variables, and assessed self-management in 7 domains. Subgroups with similar scores on self-management domains were identified and characterized using latent class cluster analysis, and factors associated with the subgroups were assessed using multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results Out of 1,387 participants, cluster analysis identified 4 subgroups of survivors: 1) high self-management on all domains (51%), 2) activity-focused self-management (19%), 3) relationship-focused self-management (15%), and 4) low self-management on all domains (16%) (Abstract EP1233 figure 1). Compared to cluster 1, survivors in cluster 2 more often had ovarian cancer, were more often younger and Danish and had more comorbidity; survivors in cluster 3 had lower cancer stages and less often underwent chemotherapy; and survivors in cluster 4 were more often cervical cancer patients with higher cancer stages, more often underwent chemotherapy or radiotherapy and were younger, lower-educated and had more comorbidity.
Conclusion The substantial variation in self-management skills among gynaecological cancer survivors suggests that subgroups of survivors need additional support for long-term management of their cancer. Younger and lower-educated cervical cancer patients with higher cancer stages may particularly require support with regard to skills and techniques to cope with their symptoms.
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