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May 1996

Quality of Life and Functional Status Measures in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the School of Medicine and Cancer Institute (Dr D'Antonio), School of Allied Health (Dr Zimmerman), and Medical Center (Dr Long), Loma Linda (Calif) University; and Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Ill (Dr Cella).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(5):482-487. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890170018005

Objective:  To assess the relationship among three validated head and neck—specific measures of functional status and a general measure of quality of life in patients with head and neck cancer.

Design:  Cross-sectional study using medical chart review, patient interview, and test administration.

Setting:  Academic tertiary referral center.

Participants:  Fifty adult patients 3 months to 6 years after major surgery for head and neck cancer.

Main Outcome Measure:  Scores from a general measure of quality of life (the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy), a subscale specific to head and neck cancer, the University of Washington Quality of LifeQuestionnaire, and the Performance Status Scale for Head and Neck Cancer Patients.

Results:  The disease-specific measures of functional status correlate well with one another. However, there were low correlations between the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy and the disease-specific measures, indicating that general and disease-specific instruments contribute unique information about quality of life.

Conclusion:  A general measure of quality of life augments information obtained by disease-specific instruments by interpreting functional status in the broader scope of the patient's life.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:482-487)

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