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Patient Satisfaction and Health-Related Quality of Life After Treatment for Colon Cancer

Gall Carey A. F.R.A.C.S.; Weller, David Ph.D.; Esterman, Adrian Ph.D.; Pilotto, Louis Ph.D.; McGorm, Kelly M.P.H.; Hammett, Zoe B.S.; Wattchow, David Ph.D.
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum: June 2007
doi: 10.1007/s10350-006-0815-8
Original Contributions: PDF Only

Purpose: Purpose:Health-related quality of life has become an important outcome in cancer treatment. Detailed health-related quality of life measures were taken as part of a trial of follow-up of patients with colon cancer by general practitioners and surgeons. This study was designed as a longitudinal assessment of health-related quality of life after treatment for carcinoma of the colon and patient satisfaction with two different settings of follow-up (general practitionersvs. surgeons).

Methods: Methods:A total of 338 patients were recruited into randomized (n = 203) and patient preference (n = 135) follow-up groups. Prospectively assessed physical and mental health-related quality of life measures and patient satisfaction are reported during two years.

Results: Results:Elderly and less educated patients prefer follow-up by general practitioners over surgeons. Overall, physical health-related quality of life is reduced early after treatment; however, this returns to normal levels at one year. Mental quality of life, anxiety, and depression are at or above population levels throughout the two-year follow-up period. There were no differences in physical or psychologic health-related quality of life measures between general practitioner and surgeon groups at any time during follow-up. Overall, more advanced Dukes stage is associated with a trend to improved mental health-related quality of life. Patients' ability to choose the setting of follow-up has no influence on health-related quality of life compared with random allocation to general practitioner or surgeon. Patients are equally highly satisfied with follow-up by general practitioner or surgeon.

Conclusions: Conclusions:After recovery from treatment for colon cancer, health-related quality of life is similar to the general population. Good health-related quality of life outcomes and high patient satisfaction are as well provided by general practitioners in the community setting as by surgeon review.

Supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Cancer Council of South Australia.

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© The ASCRS 2007