This study examined quality of life (QOL) and illness perceptions in Dutch and Japanese patients with non-small-cell lung
cancer, thereby extending the body of knowledge on cultural differences and psychosocial aspects of this illness.
Dutch and 22 Japanese patients with non-small-cell lung cancer filled out questionnaires on three occasions: immediately before
chemotherapy, 1 week later, and 8 weeks after the initial chemotherapy. The European Organization for Research and Treatment
of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) assessed QOL, and the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (B-IPQ)
Scores on several QOL measures indicated (a) major impact of first chemotherapy sessions, and
(b) some tendency to returning to baseline measures at 8 weeks. Differences between Japanese and Dutch samples were found
on five EORTC QLQ-C30 dimensions: global health status, emotional functioning, social functioning, constipation, and financial
difficulties, with the Dutch patients reporting more favorable scores. Regarding illness perceptions, Japanese patients had
higher means on perceived treatment control and personal control, expressing a higher sense of belief in the success of medical
treatment than Dutch patients.
In both Japanese and Dutch patients, impact of chemotherapy on QOL was evident. Some
differences in illness perceptions and QOL between the two samples were observed, with implications for integral medical management.
Both samples reported illness perceptions that reflect the major consequences of non-small-cell lung cancer. Incorporating
symptom reports, illness perceptions, and QOL into medical management may have positive consequences for patients with non-small-cell