Quality of life outcomes are equivalent after lobectomy in the elderly.
OBJECTIVE: Prospective analyses of quality of life in elderly patients after lobectomy are limited, yet surgeons often recommend suboptimal therapy to these patients on the basis of the belief that lobectomy is poorly tolerated. Surgical decision making in elderly patients with lung cancer is better informed when the benefits to survival and quality of life after lobectomy are understood. METHODS: By using a validated quality of life instrument, 422 patients were prospectively assessed preoperatively and 3, 6, and 12 months after lobectomy. Outcomes were analyzed with respect to age (group 1: < 70 years and group 2: > or = 70 years). The outcome domains of physical functioning, role functioning, emotional functioning, cognitive functioning, social functioning, global health, and pain in the chest were analyzed using a mixed model. The trend in quality of life was determined according to age. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for analysis of overall survival. RESULTS: The mean age was 60.1 years in group 1 (N = 256) and 74.7 years in group 2 (N = 166). Baseline demographics and quality of life were similar except that group 2 had better emotional functioning scores and worse pain in the chest scores. Postoperatively, both groups demonstrated significant decreases in quality of life at 3 months. However, at 6 and 12 months, all domains had returned to baseline except physical functioning, which remained below baseline in group 2. Emotional functioning improved postoperatively for both groups. Overall survival at 5 years was not different between groups. CONCLUSION: By using a validated quality of life assessment tool with measurements at baseline and serially after resection in a large patient population, this analysis quantifies the degree of impairment of quality of life after lobectomy and documents time to full recovery for both age groups.
Burfeind, WR; Tong, BC; O'Branski, E; Herndon, JE; Toloza, EM; D'Amico, TA; Harpole, LH; Harpole, DH
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