AbstractPurpose of review
Review quality of life (QOL) concepts and most common instruments to be used in patients with head and neck cancer, as well as the potential benefits and limitations of information derived from QOL studies.Recent findings
Information from QOL studies can be clinical predictors of prognosis, serve as potential screening and planning tools for clinical care and rehabilitation efforts. Enhancements in computer technology and the advent of tools like head and neck cancer-specific item prompt list will allow for QOL data to be used more easily.Summary
Patients with malignant head and neck neoplasms can present changes in important vital functions related to the disease and its treatment, usually resulting in a negative impact on their QOL. The application of specific questionnaires can be used to measure such impact and the information derived from QOL studies has the potential to be incorporated in the clinical practice to improve the quality of care.