Postlaryngectomy quality-of-life dimensions identified by patients and health care professionals
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We compared the quality-of-life (QOL) dimensions after laryngectomy in patients with advanced larynx or pharynx cancer that were elicited from 20 consecutive laryngectomy patients and 20 health care professionals working in the Regional Head and Neck Oncology Service. Subjects in both groups were asked to identify important QOL items after recovery from laryngectomy and to rank and rate each on a vertical visual analogue scale. Health care professionals ranked impaired communication and self-image/self-esteem as the two most important QOL dimensions, whereas patients ranked the physical consequences of surgery, e.g., tracheal mucous production, and interference with social activities as the two most important items. The results indicate that the responses of health care professionals do not fully correlate with patient priorities. These findings are relevant to researchers developing treatment-specific QOL measures and to health care professionals when presenting treatment options to patients.
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