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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • Octogenarians;
  • Quality of Life;
  • Major Surgery;
  • Head and Neck

Abstract

Background.

This study was designed to evaluate the quality of life (QOL) of patients older than 75 years undergoing major head and neck surgery.

Methods.

Three groups of patients were included: elderly patients (>75, n = 35) and younger patients (65 to 75 years, n = 30) undergoing major head and neck surgery and healthy controls (>75, n = 40). Measurements were made using the SF-12 health survey, the University of Washington QOL questionnaire, and measurements of the “sense of burden” on the caregiver.

Results.

With the SF-12, the role physical, role emotional, and bodily pain were decreased by the surgical intervention, while physical function was affected by age alone. With the UW-QOL Questionnaire, overall QOL was preserved. “Appearance” and “Leisure” subscales were affected by the surgical intervention and old age. “Chewing” and “Activity” were decreased by the surgical intervention in the older patients, and “Speech” was affected by the surgical intervention alone. The “sense of burden” was alleviated by surgery in the elderly patients.

Conclusions.

Several QOL domains are decreased in elderly patients undergoing major head and neck surgery. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 2007