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The effect of comorbidity on quality of life during radiotherapy in head and neck cancer

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Charles Kelly, Andrew Welch, Professor Vinidh Paleri


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Objective: To identify the impact of comorbidity on quality of life during radiotherapy in head and neck cancer patients. Study Design: Prospective assessment of quality of life and retrospective assessment of comorbidity. Subjects and Methods: Patients' quality of life was assessed at the start and twice during radiation treatment with the University of Washington Quality of Life questionnaire. Comorbidity was assessed from the case notes of 91 patients with the Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27 index. Results: A mean comorbidity burden of 1.07 was found. Comorbid illnesses afflicted a little more than 60 percent of our cohort. Patients with moderate to severe comorbidity had statistically significantly worse quality of life at the start (P = 0.044) and midpoint of treatment (P = 0.005), but not at the end of treatment (P = 0.114). The magnitude of change of these scores after treatment was not influenced by comorbidity. Conclusion: On the basis of severity of decompensation, radiotherapy does not produce a differential impact on the quality of life. © 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Oozeer NB, Benbow J, Downs C, Kelly C, Welch A, Paleri V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Year: 2008

Volume: 139

Issue: 2

Pages: 268-272

Print publication date: 01/08/2008

ISSN (print): 0194-5998

ISSN (electronic): 1097-6817

Publisher: Mosby, Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.otohns.2008.05.027


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