Purpose: The relationship between racial disparities and the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of lung cancer patients is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to quantify the overall HRQoL of lung cancer patients and compare differences in HRQoL among racial groups in the United States.

Methods: We analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System (BRFSS), a population-based national cross-sectional study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The BRFSS is conducted annually in all 50 states and collects information on demographics, health behaviors, health-related experiences, health conditions, use of medications, and use of preventive services. Three HRQoL scores (unhealthy days per month, frequent mental distress, fair/poor health) were generated using the four Healthy Days Measures questions that have been validated as HRQoL measures by previous research.

Results: We found that the HRQoL measures of the Non-Hispanic Black group were not statistically different from those of the Non-Hispanic White group for any of the three measures examined. However, the Hispanic group (OR = 3.14, 95%CI=1.40 – 7.02) and Other races (OR = 1.85, 95%CI=1.04-3.27) had significantly higher odds of frequent mental distress when compared to the Non-Hispanic White group.

Conclusions: Quality of life among lung cancer patients is a heavily under-researched area of the cancer survivorship experience. Rarer, is data examining specifically how racial disparities affect the quality of life of lung cancer survivors. More research is needed to examine this important topic to create a foundation for more beneficial lung cancer interventions in the future.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Odahowski, Cassie


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Health Professions and Sciences


Health Sciences

Degree Program

Health Sciences; Pre-Clinical Track



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Included in

Oncology Commons