The effect of neck dissection on quality of life after chemoradiation

Amy Anne Donatelli-Lassig, Sonia A. Duffy, Karen E. Fowler, David L. Ronis, Douglas B. Chepeha, Jeffrey E. Terrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine differences in quality of life (QOL) between patients with head and neck cancer who receive chemoradiation versus chemoradiation and neck dissection. Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted at two tertiary otolaryngology clinics and a Veterans Administration hospital. Sample: 103 oropharyngeal patients with Stage IV squamous cell carcinoma treated via chemoradiation ± neck dissection. Intervention: self-administered health survey to collect health, demographic, and QOL information pretreatment and 1 year later. Main outcome measures: QOL via SF-36 and HNQoL. Descriptive statistics were calculated for health/clinical characteristics, demographics, and QOL scores. t tests evaluated changes in QOL over time. Results: Sixty-five patients underwent chemoradiation and 38 patients underwent chemoradiation and neck dissection. Only the pain index of the SF-36 showed a significant difference between groups (P < 0.05) with the neck dissection group reporting greater pain. Conclusions: After post-treatment neck dissection, patients experience statistically significant decrement in bodily pain domain scores, but other QOL scores are similar to those of patients who underwent chemoradiation alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-518
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health through the University of Michigan's Head and Neck Cancer SPORE (P50 CA97248).


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