Symptom patterns, physical function and quality of life among head and neck cancer patients prior to and after surgical treatment: A prospective study

Zi yi Hu, Xian qiong Feng, Mei Rosemary Fu, Rong Yu, Hui ling Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate patterns of symptoms, physical function and quality of life (QoL) among patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) prior to, 3–9 days post-surgery, and one month post-surgery. Methods: A prospective, repeated-measures design with consecutively-identified sampling was used to recruit HNC patients undergoing surgical treatment. Data collected included demographic and clinical characteristics, symptoms by M.D. Anderson Symptom Inventory-Head and Neck Module-Chinese version (MDASI-H&N–C), physical function and QoL by Function Subscales of European Cancer Research Treatment Organization Quality of Life Core Scale (EORTC QLQ C30). Results: 105 HNC patients suffered multiple symptoms prior to and after surgery. Pain, difficulty with voice/speech, disturbed sleep and problems with mucus (30.48%~91.43%) were the most prevalent symptoms prior to and post-surgery. Numbers of symptoms as well as specific symptoms, such as fatigue, dry mouth, problems with mucus, pain and disturbed sleep, were significantly associated with poor physical function (p < 0.05). Tracheostomy, feeding tube and age were also linked with poor physical function and poor QoL (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Findings of our study underscore the importance of managing symptoms in HNC patients to ensure patients' physical function and QoL prior to and after surgical treatment. Further research should focus on developing targeted interventions for symptoms that are linked to HNC patients’ poor physical function and QoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101770
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume46
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Physical function
  • Quality of life
  • Surgery
  • Symptom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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