Impact of Oral Problems on the Quality Of Life of Women Subjected To Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: A Longitudinal Study

Marcela Vieira Calmon, Maria Aparecida Amaral Musso, Larissa Rodrigues Dell Antonio, Eliana Zandonade, Maria Helena Costa Amorim, Maria Helena Monteiro de Barros Miotto


Objective: To evaluate the impact of oral problems on the quality of life of women before and during chemotherapy for breast cancer. Material and Methods: A longitudinal study was conducted on women with breast cancer at a Hospital reference, Espírito Santo, Brazil from January 2012 to January 2013. Assessment was performed at three time-points, the first before the onset of therapeutic intervention, the second after the first chemotherapy session, and the third after the second chemotherapy session. The volunteers were assessed using interviews that included the application of the subjective indicator Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14). The data were subjected to descriptive analysis based on tables of absolute and percentage frequencies relative to the OHIP-14 dimensions. McNemar’s test assessed the direction of discordance, and the Kappa test measured the levels of concordance among the three assessments. The significance level was established at 5%. Results: The percent frequency of the impact of oral problems on the quality of life increased from the first (27%) to the second (49%) time-point, and functional limitation (p=0.001), physical pain (p=0.039), and physical disability (p=0.039) were statistically significant. Conclusion: Oral problems exerted a substantial impact on the volunteers’ quality of life before the onset of chemotherapy, and quality of life became poorer after the onset of treatment. Patients with breast cancer require specific oral care and should be monitored before, during, and after anticancer treatment to minimize the deleterious effects of chemotherapy and improve their quality of life.


Oral health; Quality of life; Disease impact profile; Breast cancer

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