Health-related quality of life differences between African Americans and non-Hispanic whites with head and neck cancer

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BackgroundCancers of the head and neck are associated with detriments in health-related quality of life (HRQOL); however, little is known about different experiences between African Americans and non-Hispanic whites.MethodsHRQOL was measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Head and Neck (FACT-H&N) approximately 5 months postdiagnosis among 222 patients with cancer from North Carolina. Higher scores represent better HRQOL. Regression models included sociodemographic characteristics and clinical factors.ResultsAfrican Americans reported higher physical well-being than whites (adjusted means, 23.1 vs 20.9). African Americans with incomes <$20,000 reported higher emotional well-being (21.4) and fewer head and neck symptoms (22.0). Non-Hispanic whites making <$20,000 reported the poorest emotional well-being (17.3), whereas African Americans making >$20,000 reported the most head and neck symptoms (18.7).ConclusionsFurther investigation is needed to explore variation in HRQOL experiences among different race and socioeconomic groups that may inform resource allocation to improve cancer care. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2013

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