Quality of life in patients with right- or left-sided brain tumours: literature review

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Palese A, Lamanna F, Di Monte C, Calligaris S, Doretto M & Criveller M (2008) Journal of Clinical Nursing17, 1403–1410 Quality of life in patients with right- or left-sided brain tumours: literature review


To determine if patients with left- or right-sided hemisphere neoplasm perceive their quality of life (QoL) differently.


It is not clear whether patients with a lesion in the left hemisphere have a different QoL than those with a lesion in the right hemisphere. (1) In the pre-operative period, patients with a left-sided lesion may have different symptoms according to the position of the tumour. (2) Studies on patients with brain injury demonstrate an association between left frontal lesions and depression: depression can alter the patients’ perception of QoL. (3) In the postoperative period, right-handed patients may be disadvantaged by surgical trauma to the motor cortex in the left hemisphere. (4) During the different phases of the disease, the various functions of the two hemispheres may influence the patient's capacity to control QoL; also, as suggested by authors, both the ego and the conscience are mostly located in the left hemisphere. This is the reason that patients with a left-sided lesion may perceive a worse QoL.


A review of literature was carried out using the Medline database (1966–2007) and CINHAL (1982–2007), using the following Mesh Terms and key words: brain neoplasm, tumour or cancer, hemispheric dominance or laterality or right or left hemisphere, QoL.


Seven studies emerged that documented non-homogeneous results and which included different populations. The association between QoL and the side of the lesion was evaluated.


The lack of a substantial number of recent, robust follow-up studies investigating the QoL in patients at different stages of disease and treatment indicates that more research is needed.

Relevance to clinical practice.

Understanding the QoL in patients with brain neoplasm and the differences between right and left hemisphere sites of the neoplasm can help nurses develop different interventions and offer more guidance for effective clinical intervention.

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