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Saturday, March 19, 2016

The health-related quality of life journey of gynecologic oncology surgical patients...

The health-related quality of life journey of gynecologic oncology surgical patients: Implications for the incorporation of patient-reported outcomes into surgical quality metrics


Temporary declines in functional QOL are balanced by improvements in emotional QOL and anxiety.
Commonly used HRQOL instruments may not best reflect the perioperative surgical experience.



To report the changes in patient-reported quality of life for women undergoing gynecologic oncology surgeries.


In a prospective cohort study from 10/2013–10/2014, women were enrolled pre-operatively and completed comprehensive interviews at baseline, 1, 3, and 6 months post-operatively. Measures included the disease-specific Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-GP), general Patient Reported Outcome Measure Information System (PROMIS) global health and validated measures of anxiety and depression. Bivariate statistics were used to analyze demographic groups and changes in mean scores over time.


Of 231 patients completing baseline interviews, 185 (80%) completed 1-month, 170 (74%) 3-month, and 174 (75%) 6-month interviews. Minimally invasive (n = 115, 63%) and laparotomy (n = 60, 32%) procedures were performed. Functional wellbeing (20 → 17.6, p < 0.0001) decreased at 1-month, and recovered by 3 and 6 months. Emotional wellbeing increased (16.3 → 20.1, p < 0.0001) and anxiety decreased (54.2 → 49.0, p < 0.0001) at 1-month, and were stable at 3 and 6 months. Physical wellbeing scales were not sensitive to surgery. These patterns were consistent across procedure type, cancer diagnosis, and adjuvant therapy administration. In an exploratory analysis of the interaction of QOL and quality, patients with increased postoperative healthcare resource use were noted to have higher baseline levels of anxiety.


For women undergoing gynecologic oncology procedures, temporary declines in functional wellbeing are balanced by improvements in emotional wellbeing and decreased anxiety symptoms after surgery. Not all commonly used QOL surveys are sensitive to changes during the perioperative period and may not be suitable for use in surgical quality metrics.


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