Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is highly prevalent in southern China. Prominent acute side effects of radiotherapy create problems in daily living and working that can generate considerable financial difficulties. A better adjustment to a diagnosis of NPC appears to be associated with an improved rate of recovery, a better quality of life (QoL), a quicker return to work, and normal functioning. Patient satisfaction with physician consultation and the way information is provided in particular may have significant bearing on QoL. The current study reports on short-term QoL after radiotherapy in NPC patients as a function of satisfaction with the information provided.
Newly referred Hong Kong Chinese NPC patients (n = 211) completed interview measures at baseline before the initiation of radiotherapy, at 4 months after baseline (immediate posttreatment consultation) (FU 1), and again at 8 months (short-term postradiation period) after baseline (FU 2). Satisfaction with the information provided was measured by five items selected from the cognitive subscale of the Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale (MISS). QoL was measured by the Chinese version of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General Scale (FACT-G (Ch)).
After adjustment for overall patient satisfaction (the PSQ-9), optimism, worry about family, anger, eating ability, subjective health, family income, and occupation at FU 1, treatment between baseline and FU 1, and disease recurrence after baseline, the 5-item MISS at FU 1 (β = 0.21, P < 0.01) was found to significantly predict patient QoL at FU 2. Adjustment for baseline QoL and disease stage did not appear to alter this relation (β = 0.20, P < 0.01).
To the authors' knowledge, there is very little research concerning NPC. The results of the current study reinforced the need to improve physicians' information provision during consultations with Chinese NPC patients shortly after the end of treatment. Cancer 2001;92:2126–35. © 2001 American Cancer Society.