Quality of Life in Oral Cancer Patients-Effects of Tongue Resection and Sociocultural Aspects

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Abstract

Background

The aims of this study were to evaluate postoperative quality of life in patients who have had resections of tongue cancer and reconstruction by flaps and to collect information about their sociocultural situation.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, patients with primary tongue cancer treated with total and subtotal tongue resection in the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, between July 2008 and October 2011, were included. Quality of life was assessed by the 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile and the Medical Outcomes Study–Short Form 36 questionnaires 12 months postoperatively. Furthermore, a questionnaire about the sociocultural background of the patients was applied.

Results

Forty-six of the 62 questionnaires were returned (74.19%). In the Medical Outcomes Study–Short Form 36, the best-scoring domain was bodily pain, whereas the lowest scores were for social functioning and vitality. In the 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile, the lowest-scoring domain was psychological disability, followed by psychological discomfort and social disability.

Conclusions

The postoperative quality of life in our patients was significantly influenced by tongue resection. This should be considered for surgical planning. The sociocultural data showed a rather low education level and life standard level for the majority of the patients.

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