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ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 13
Public health

Quality of life of patients from rural and urban areas in Poland with head and neck cancer treated with radiotherapy. A study of the influence of selected socio-demographic factors

Adam Depta
Maciej Jewczak
Anna Skura-Madziała

Arch Med Sci 2017; 13, 6: 1474–1482
Online publish date: 2017/10/31
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Introduction: The quality of life (QoL) experienced by cancer patients depends both on their state of health and on sociodemographic factors. Tumours in the head and neck region have a particularly adverse effect on patients psychologically and on their social functioning.

Material and methods: The study involved 121 patients receiving radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cancers. They included 72 urban and 49 rural residents. QoL was assessed using the questionnaires EORTC-QLQ-C30 and QLQ-H&N35. The data were analysed using statistical methods: a 2 test for independence and a multinomial logit model.

Results: The evaluation of QoL showed a strong, statistically significant, positive dependence on state of health, and a weak dependence on sociodemographic factors and place of residence. Evaluations of financial situation and living conditions were similar for rural and urban residents. Patients from urban areas had the greatest anxiety about deterioration of their state of health. Rural respondents were more often anxious about a worsening of their financial situation, and expressed a fear of loneliness.

Conclusions: Studying the QoL of patients with head and neck cancer provides information concerning the areas in which the disease inhibits their lives, and the extent to which it does so. It indicates conditions for the adaptation of treatment and care methods in the healthcare system which might improve the QoL of such patients. A multinomial logit model identifies the factors determining the patients’ health assessment and defines the probable values of such assessment.

quality of life, head and neck cancer, sociodemographic factors, EORTC-QLQ-C30, QLQ-H&N35: HRQoL

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