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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


ARRARAS, Juan Ignacio et al. Quality of life assessment by applying EORTC questionnaires to rectal cancer patients after surgery and neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2013, vol.105, n.5, pp.255-261. ISSN 1130-0108.

Background: Quality of Life (QoL) is a key element in rectal cancer (RC) patients. Aims: this study assesses QoL in a sample of RC patients in their treatment follow-up period, and compares surgery modalities. Patients and methods: eighty four locally advanced RC patients who had received surgery and neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy were included in the study. Of these, 70 had adjuvant chemotherapy. All patients completed the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the QLQ-CR29 once at least one year after completion of their treatment. Low anterior resection (LAR) patients also completed a Functional Evaluation questionnaire. Results: QoL scores in the EORTC questionnaires for the sample as a whole were high in most dimensions, in line with the general population's QoL values, although moderate limitations (> 30 points) were observed in urinary frequency, flatulence, impotence and sexual function. The scores for the Functional Evaluation were adequate (mean combined bowel function score of 18.2). LAR patients had a higher stool frequency than those with abdominoperineal resection (APR; p < 0.001). No differences in body image were found amongst LAR and APR patients. LAR patients with a lower anastomosis had higher faecal incontinence (p = 0.02), whereas those with a reservoir had better emotional functioning (p = 0.04) and higher faecal incontinence (p = 0.03). Conclusions: QoL scores and functional evaluation indicated patients had adapted to their disease and treatment. The few differences in QoL found between surgery modalities are in line with other recent studies and in contrast with earlier ones that suggested a lower QoL in APR patients.

Keywords : Cancer; Quality of life; Surgery; Rectal; Chemoradiotherapy.

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