OBJECTIVE:
To identify patient groups that are prone to poorer quality of life (QoL) during the first 3 months following discharge from the hospital after surgery for head and neck cancer.
DESIGN:
Prospective evaluation of the QoL of surgically treated head and neck cancer patients measured with questionnaires at discharge and at 6 weeks and 3 months after discharge.
SETTING:
Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery of the Erasmus University Medical Centre, a tertiary health care centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
PARTICIPANTS:
Ninety head and neck cancer patients who had undergone a total laryngectomy, neck dissection, or the commando procedure. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Patients' quality of life in 22 different dimensions.
RESULTS:
Three patient characteristics associated with poorer QoL during the first 3 months following discharge from the hospital after surgery for head and neck cancer: laryngectomy, lower levels of education, and being single. QoL already improved in eight QoL dimensions during the first 3 months after discharge, but QoL in the dimensions "loss of control" and "physical self-efficacy" worsened during this same period.
CONCLUSIONS:
It is possible to identify patient groups that are prone to poorer QoL during the first 3 months following discharge from the hospital after surgery for head and neck cancer. The results of this study may help care providers working with head and neck cancer patients to tailor their rehabilitation programs.

Head and neck neoplasms, Humans, Quality of life, Questionnaires, Surgery
dx.doi.org/10.2310/7070.2005.0099, hdl.handle.net/1765/67150
Journal of Otolaryngology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van den Brink, J.L, de Boer, M.F, Pruyn, J.F.A, Hop, W.C.J, Verwoerd, C.D.A, & Moorman, P.W. (2006). Quality of life during the first 3 months following discharge after surgery for head and neck cancer: Prospective evaluation. Journal of Otolaryngology, 35(6), 395–403. doi:10.2310/7070.2005.0099