Date of Conferral





Public Health


Diana Naser


Research in the field of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) has increased over the last decade, including studies focused on biochemical markers (biomarkers) of the disease. There is also growing interest in how NETs impact patients' quality of life (QOL). Consequently, there is a paucity of information about whether the expression of the specific disease biomarkers affects QOL as well as whether the primary tumor site impacts QOL. Using the explanatory model of health promotion and quality of life in chronic disabling conditions as the theoretical framework and data collected with the Norfolk QOL-NET instrument, this study's purpose was to fill that gap in knowledge through research questions addressing the relationship between the primary tumor site and NET patients' total QOL score as well as the effect of specific NET biomarkers on NET patients' total QOL score. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), regression analysis, and post hoc tests to determine significance. Results from an ANOVA showed that abnormal NET biomarkers affected total QOL (p = 0.011). In the analyses of whether the independent biomarker variables affected the dependent total QOL variable, only the result for Serotonin Normal was significant (p = 0.002). The presence of abnormal biomarker measurements also affected two of the Norfolk QOL-NET domains significantly, gastrointestinal and physical functioning (p = 0.005 and p = 0.030, respectively). By understanding the relationship between NETs and patient QOL, the potential positive social change implications are helping NET patients assess the severity of their condition, determining what affects their well-being, and using this information to help monitor their treatment/progress.

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