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01-02-2014 | Uitgave 1/2014

Quality of Life Research 1/2014

Quality of life in head and neck cancer patients after tumor therapy and subsequent rehabilitation: an exploratory study

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 1/2014
Judit Nagy, Gábor Braunitzer, Márk Antal, Csaba Berkovits, Péter Novák, Katalin Nagy



The aim of the study was to evaluate patient-reported quality of life effects of post-treatment intraoral and extraoral rehabilitation in head and neck cancer by repeated measures.


Fifty-nine patients were involved. Basic socio-demographic, oncological and epidemiological data were gathered, and the type of rehabilitation was recorded. For the assessment of quality of life changes, two widely used brief questionnaires, the University of Washington Quality of Life Questionnaire and the Head and Neck module of the European Organization of Research and Treatment for Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, were used. The questionnaires were administered to patients two times: the first time after tumor therapy, but before rehabilitation (upon arriving for rehabilitation) and the second time 6 months after the application of any particular method of rehabilitation. Quality of life data were gathered prospectively, while socio-demographic data were gathered from patient files.


Quality of life after rehabilitation was significantly enhanced as compared to the post-treatment status, in all domains of both questionnaires (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, Mann–Whitney U).


The results support the hypothesis that post-treatment maxillofacial rehabilitation in head and neck cancer does not only restore lost physical capabilities, but also brings about profound changes in patients’ quality of life in general.

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