Background: Little is known regarding the short-term quality of life (QoL) and predictive factors for QoL after esophagectomy for cancer in Eastern countries.
Objective: The aims of this study were to assess QoL and symptoms within 1 and 6 months after surgery for esophageal cancer (EC) and to identify factors predictive of QoL within 6 months after esophagectomy in Taiwan.
Methods: A longitudinal, prospective design was used, where convenience samples of 99 patients who had undergone esophagectomy for cancer were recruited from 2 medical centers in northern Taiwan. All participants responded to a questionnaire with a QLQ-C30 (Quality of Life Questionnaire–Cancer) core and a QLQ-OES18 (esophageal module of the European Organization for Research and Treatment [EORTC] QLQ-C30) module in structured interviews at baseline and 1 and 6 months after surgery.
Results: The results showed significant decline in social function and global QoL; fatigue, insomnia, eating problems, reflux, and dry mouth were major problems within 6 months. Body mass index, body weight loss before surgery, activity performance status, and anastomosis site showed no significant association with the function and symptom aspect of QoL. Surgical complications, advanced cancer, neoadjuvant therapy before surgery, and tumor location other than at the EC junction had significant deleterious effects on several aspects of QoL.
Conclusions: This study describes the demographics of EC and short-term changes in QoL and also the predictive impact factor for QoL after surgery for EC.
Implications for Practice: Knowledge of risk factors for poor postoperative QoL would be useful for health providers in detecting and prioritizing problems and treatment options in a busy clinical site.
Author Affiliations: Department of Nursing (Ms Chang) and Departments of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (Drs Wu and Hsieh), Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou; Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences (Ms Chang) and School of Nursing (Dr Tsai), Chang Gung University; and Department of Nursing, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Keelung (Dr Tsai), Taiwan.
This study was funded by Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CMRPG 390411).
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Yun-Fang Tsai, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Rd, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan 333 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Accepted for publication October 5, 2012.