Health impact of head and neck cancer.
A multidimensional Head and Neck Quality of Life (HNQOL) instrument and a general health status measure were administered to 397 patients with head and neck cancer. Scores for the 4 domains of the HNQOL (communication, eating, pain, and emotional well-being) were calculated. Patient demographics, comorbidities, clinical characteristics, treatment data, disability status, and a global "overall bother" score were assessed. When compared with the US population aged 55 to 64 years, the group had significantly worse scores in the 8 health domains of the SF-36. Patients' overall bother scores from the head and neck cancer treatment correlated best with the HNQOL emotion domain (r = 0.71) and the HNQOL pain domain (r = 0.63), and least with the patients' perception of their response to treatment (r = 0.39). Pain, eating, emotion, physical component summary score, age, and an interaction term between eating and emotion were significant predictors for overall bother. Of the 217 patients who were working before the diagnosis of cancer, 74 (34. 1%) reported that they had become disabled. Patients who had more than 1 type of treatment were 5.9 times more likely to report themselves as disabled (odds ratio [OR] = 5.94, P < 0.01), even after adjusting for age, emotion score, and physical component summary score, which were other factors that predicted disability.
Terrell, JE; Nanavati, K; Esclamado, RM; Bradford, CR; Wolf, GT
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