A comparison of health-related quality of life (HRQL) outcomes across three culturally different groups of head and neck (H&N) cancer patients.
A cross-sectional study design with convenience samples.
Study subjects were English- and French-speaking H&N cancer patients recruited in Quebec and France.
Subjects completed EORTC QLQ-C30 and H&N35 HRQL instruments 3-6 months following the completion of cancer therapy. The former (the core instrument) is a HRQL instrument designed to be used as an outcome measure in patients with any form of cancer, while the latter instrument (the H&N module) is an outcome measure specific to people with H&N cancer. Both instruments are designed to generate domain scores rather than an overall evaluation. The core instrument has 15 domains and the H&N module 18.
In the second study, of 33 HRQL domains tested, only 'head and neck pain' and 'constipation' were associated significantly with cultural background, with French-speaking Canadians reporting higher levels of both.
This study suggests that cultural background is not related to the large majority of HRQL domains assessed by the EORTC QLQ-C30 and H&N35 instruments, thereby enabling international comparisons of (oral) HRQL.