Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Sally Vliem

Second Advisor

Wendy Kershner

Third Advisor

Susan Houtrouw


There is no current universally accepted definition for quality of life (QOL). One source defined the concept of QOL as how an individual measures the goodness of different aspects of their life. These assessments include one’s emotional reactions to life events, disposition, sense of fulfillment, and satisfaction with personal relationships and work (Theofilou, 2013). Another definition encompasses the person’s level of functioning and overall satisfaction and well-being of their life (Lavdaniti & Tsitsis, 2015). QOL can be influenced by many factors, including physical health and certain disease processes. One disease in particular that can significantly affect one’s QOL is cancer. Cancer can be physically and psychologically wearing both during treatment and even in survivorship. In cancer survivors, QOL encompasses physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being (Lavdaniti & Tsitsis, 2015). A particularly vulnerable group of cancer patients that may struggle more with QOL, both during and after treatment, are adolescents. As survival rates increase for adolescents with cancer it is important to measure outcomes such as health related QOL (Russell, Hudson, Long, & Phipps, 2006). Paying attention to health related QOL in adolescent cancer survivors is relevant due to the number of adolescents diagnosed each year. Based on statistics from 2014, 10,380 children younger than 15 years old and 5,000 adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 will be diagnosed with cancer (America Society of Clinical Oncology, 2014). The aim of our literature review is to further explore the QOL of adolescents going through cancer treatment. Furthermore, we are determined to suggest strategies to improve this QOL based on reliable research. Through the literature, we will explore quality of life in general, effects of cancer on adolescent patients, both physically and psychologically, and examine which methods would be most beneficial in helping to improve an adolescent with cancer’s QOL. This information will be presented as the thesis project for the Lee Honors College for the researchers Alexis Guastella and Molly Ryan.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Thesis Defense Presentation.pdf (202 kB)
Defense Presentation