Shoulder and neck morbidity in quality of life after surgery for head and neck cancer

Authors

  • C. P. van Wilgen PT,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Rehabilitation, University Hospital Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
    • C. P. van Wilgen, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • P. U. Dijkstra PT, MT, PhD,

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Rehabilitation, University Hospital Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • B. F. A. M. van der Laan MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, University Hospital Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • J. Th. Plukker MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Surgical Oncology, University Hospital Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • J. L. N. Roodenburg DDS, PhD

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Background.

Quality of life has become a major issue in determining the outcome of treatment in head and neck surgery with curative intent. The aim of our study was to determine which factors in the postoperative care, especially shoulder and neck morbidity, are related to quality of life and how these outcomes compared between patients who had undergone surgery and a control group.

Methods.

We analyzed physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, and social and functional well-being at least 1 year after surgery and evaluated the differences in quality of life between patients who had undergone head and neck surgery and a control group.

Results.

Depression scores contributed significantly to all domains of quality of life. Reduced shoulder abduction, shoulder pain, and neck pain are related to several domains of quality of life. The patient group scored significantly worse for social functioning and limitations from physical problems but scored significantly better for bodily pain and health changes.

Conclusion.

Depression and shoulder and neck morbidity are important factors in quality of life for patients who have undergone surgery for head and neck cancer. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck26: 839–844, 2004

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