International Poster Journal of Dentistry and Oral Medicine



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Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 4 (2002), No. 2     15. June 2002
Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 4 (2002), No. 2  (15.06.2002)

Poster 124, Language: English

Quality of life of head and neck cancer patients during and after therapy
Hertrampf, Katrin/Wenz, Hans-Jürgen/Koller, Michael/Lorenz, Wilfried/Lehmann, Klaus M.
The management of head and neck cancer patients is a multidisciplinary approach. Especially patients with persisting maxillofacial defects after surgery experience a restriction of their quality of life during and after therapy. The evaluation of quality of life has become an important aspect in the medical treatment of cancer patients. In dentistry, however, only few information is available how head and neck cancer patients feel during and after therapy.The purpose of this study was to investigate how cancer patients with maxillofacial defects (experimental group) evaluate their quality of life compared to a non-tumour control group with multiple teeth extractions. It is known that patients with a long history of medical treatment adapt to their specific situation (coping phenomenon) and that differences in the global quality of life in comparison with a control group are difficult to detect. So additionally, changes in quality of life during the multidisciplinary therapy were assessed retrospectively.A total of 34 patients were included in the study, 17 in each group. All patients completed their therapy including prosthetic rehabilitation between 1995 and 1999. Global quality of life was measured with a standardized questionnaire (EORTC QLQ C-30). In addition, the patients were interviewed in a standardized format to obtain their retrospective views of quality of life during therapy.At the time of investigation, no significant differences in quality of life were found between both groups but the interview revealed differences in the retrospective evaluation of quality of life. Especially diagnosis, but also surgery and radiotherapy were the most incriminating periods of the therapy for the head an neck cancer patients. The results indicate that these patients need psychological support which should start with the diagnosis and should at least proceed throughout the radiation therapy.

Keywords: quality of life, patients with maxillofacial defects, interview

EPA (European Prosthodontic Association)
Prag, Tschechien