Impact of secondary lymphedema after head and neck cancer treatment on symptoms, functional status, and quality of life.

Deng J, Murphy BA, Dietrich MS, Wells N, Wallston KA, Sinard RJ, Cmelak AJ, Gilbert J, Ridner SH
Head Neck. 2013 35 (7): 1026-35

PMID: 22791550 · PMCID: PMC4017911 · DOI:10.1002/hed.23084

BACKGROUND - Lymphedema may disrupt local function and affect quality of life (QOL) in patients with head and neck cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations among severity of internal and external lymphedema, symptoms, functional status, and QOL in patients with head and neck cancer.

METHODS - The sample included 103 patients who were ≥ 3 months after head and neck cancer treatment. Variables assessed included severity of internal and external lymphedema, physical/psychological symptoms, functional status, and QOL.

RESULTS - Severity of internal and external lymphedema was associated with physical symptoms and psychological symptoms. Patients with more severe external lymphedema were more likely to have a decrease in neck left/right rotation. The combined effects of external and internal lymphedema severity were associated with hearing impairment and decreased QOL.

CONCLUSIONS - Lymphedema severity correlates with symptom burden, functional status, and QOL in patients after head and neck cancer treatment.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

MeSH Terms (15)

Adult Aged Aged, 80 and over Female Head and Neck Neoplasms Humans Lymphedema Male Middle Aged Neoplasm Staging Postoperative Complications Quality of Life Severity of Illness Index Sickness Impact Profile Surveys and Questionnaires

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