I.M. Verdonck-de Leeuw
R. de Bree
- The course of health-related quality of life in head and neck cancer patients treated with chemoradiation: a prospective cohort study
- Radiotherapy and oncology
- Volume | Issue number
- 110 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Background and purpose: To evaluate the course of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) from diagnosis to 2 years follow-up in patients with head and neck cancer (HNSCC) treated with chemoradiation (CRT).
Materials and methods: 164 patients completed the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-H&N35 questionnaires 1 week before and 6 weeks and 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after CRT. Patients were compared to a reference group. A linear mixed-model analysis was used to assess changes in HRQOL over time, and whether this was associated with age, gender, comorbidity, and tumor sublocation.
Results: Significant differences for the majority of HRQOL scales were observed between patient and reference group at baseline, and follow-up. The course of HRQOL was different for survivors compared to non-survivors. In survivors, improvement over time was observed (in global quality of life, physical, role, and social function, fatigue, pain, swallowing, speech, social eating, and social contacts), while in non-survivors the pattern over time was either no changes in HRQOL or a deterioration (in physical function, social eating and contacts). In both survivors and non-survivors, emotional functioning improved after treatment, but deteriorated in the longer term. Patients with comorbidity reported worse physical function, and patients with oral/oropharyngeal cancer (compared to hypopharyngeal/laryngeal cancer) reported more oral pain and sexual problems, but fewer speech problems.
Conclusions: The course of HRQOL of HNSCC patients during the first 2 years after CRT is different for survivors compared to non-survivors and is associated with comorbidity and tumor subsite.
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