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Exploring quality of life among head-and-neck cancer patients in Western India using European organization for research and treatment of cancer questionnaires

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Siddhpur Dental College and Hospital, Patan, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
3 Department of Periodontology, Ahmedabad Dental College and Hospital, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Sujal Parkar,
B-25 Krishna Bunglows-I, Gandhinagar Highway, Motera, Ahmedabad - 380 005, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_450_20

Background:Head-and-neck cancers (HNCs) are one of the major public health problems for both patients and the health-care providers in India. The clinical manifestations of HNC and its treatment can lead to negative effects on the quality of life (QoL) of the patient. The study is aimed to explore the QoL using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QoL questionnaires among HNC patients in Western part of India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional prospective study was conducted among 400 HNC patients attending the tertiary cancer center. The QoL was assessed by using the EORTC core questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and EORTC head- and neck-specific questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-H and N35). The data were explored using means, standard deviation, medians, ranges, and proportions. Results:All the 400 patients had completed the questionnaire having a compliance rate of 100%. There was no missing data at the item level for the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. While the missing items for EORTC QLQ-H and N35 were: problems while swallowing food, problems with teeth, and sexuality. The mean functional score ranged from 74.22 to 93.49 for EORTC QLQ-C30. The mean symptoms score was found in the range from 3.25 to 81.50 for EORTC QLQ-H and N35. Conclusion: Both questionnaires were comprehensive and well accepted by the patients. These questionnaires provided the information-related disease-specific QoL data, which otherwise is often missed. Health-care providers should not only focus on the clinical effects of treatment but also on QoL issues because it will improve overall patient care and survival.

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