The value of quality-of-life questionnaires in head and neck cancer

I.M. de Leeuw, A.J. van Nieuwenhuizen, C.R. Leemans

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the recent literature on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. RECENT FINDINGS: HRQOL is an important part of well designed clinical trials. HRQOL seems to be an independent predictor of survival, but this association may be influenced by various cancer-related, personal, biological, psychobehavioural, physical, lifestyle-related, and social factors. Less is known about the course of HRQOL over time and about the same above-mentioned possible factors associated with (change in) HRQOL of HNC patients. Symptom management and psychosocial care may be beneficial for HNC patients to improve HRQOL, but more randomized controlled trials are needed. Studies on HRQOL in HNC are most often based on cross-sectional designs. The variability in the outcome measures hampers the generalizability of the results of these studies. Information on HRQOL of caregivers is scarce. SUMMARY: Better information on all aspects of the course of HRQOL from diagnosis and treatment to long-term survivorship or death is highly needed in both patients and their caregivers, enabling reliable and valid predictive modelling. More evidence of efficacy of (new) treatment options, symptom management, and psychosocial care is needed, also in the context of increasing long-term survival and growing attention for cancer survivorship. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-147
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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