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National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134-140

Health-related quality of life assessment for head-and-neck cancer patients during and at 3 months after radiotherapy – A prospective, analytical questionnaire-based study

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Rohini, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Medical Oncology, Millennium Cancer Center, Gurugram, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Parveen Ahlawat
Department of Radiation Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Sector-5, Rohini - 110 085, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njms.NJMS_92_18

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Introduction: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a more specific area of QoL that deals with the evaluation and assessment of the impact of the disease and its treatment-related morbidities on a patient's physical, psychological, and social aspects. The aim of the present study was to assess the HRQoL of patients with head-and-neck cancer (HNCs) during and at 3 months after completion of radiotherapy (RT) by intensity-modulated RT. Materials and Methods: This study was a prospective, longitudinal, observational, and self-completed questionnaire-based study that included 120 patients with HNC who underwent intensity-modulated RT. The questionnaire had adequate internal consistency. The questionnaires were given to each patient at the beginning of treatment (pretreatment), weekly visits during the course of RT (at the end of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th week), on the day of completion of RT, and then finally at 3 months after completion of RT. Thus, a total of successive nine time points were assessed. Results and Conclusions: One hundred and eleven patients completed the questionnaires at all nine time points. HRQoL usually decreases during treatment and then increases to pretreatment levels by 3 months after treatment. The Quality of Life Questionnaire, Core Module and Quality of Life Questionnaire, Head and Neck Module were found to be both valid and reliable. There was a significant QoL reduction for the patients throughout treatment in relation to functions and symptoms in the treatment of HNC. However, all the functions and most of the symptoms returned to baseline at the 3-month follow-up.

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