Publication Abstract

Authors: Rettig EM, D'Souza G, Thompson CB, Koch WM, Eisele DW, Fakhry C

Title: Health-related quality of life before and after head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: Analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey linkage.

Journal: Cancer 122(12):1861-70

Date: 2016 Jun 15

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Understanding health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is crucial to providing high-quality survivorship care for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Trends in and prognostic significance of HRQOL before and after HNSCC have not been well described. METHODS: HRQOL for older individuals with HNSCC was examined using the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey database. Surveys assessing HRQOL from 5 years prediagnosis to 10 years postdiagnosis were included. HRQOL over time was modeled using multilevel linear regression with restricted cubic splines and was reported as either total HRQOL or change in HRQOL (denoted Δ). The association of prediagnosis HRQOL with survival was examined. RESULTS: In total, 1653 individuals were included; of these, 61% completed 1 survey, and 39% completed multiple surveys. Overall HRQOL decreased progressively until 13 months postdiagnosis, then recovered toward baseline between 2 and 5 years. However, after stratification by survival group, the postdiagnosis recovery was not observed. Individuals with shorter survival had lower HRQOL prediagnosis (<2-year survivors, 87.3; > 5-year survivors, 96.4; P = .004) with a steeper decline in HRQOL during diagnosis and treatment (<2-year survivors: Δ, -16.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], -23.8, -9.4; > 5-year survivors: Δ, -0.9; 95% CI, -1.8, 0.08). Radiotherapy and advanced stage were associated with greater declines in HRQOL during diagnosis and treatment (P < .001). Higher prediagnosis HRQOL was independently associated with improved overall survival (adjusted hazard ratio for 10-point increase, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.85-0.97). CONCLUSIONS: HRQOL declines before and after HNSCC, whereas any observed posttreatment recovery is likely an artifact of shorter survival among individuals with the lowest HRQOL. The prognostic implication of prediagnosis HRQOL may inform patient counseling. Cancer 2016;122:1861-70. © 2016 American Cancer Society.