Association between quality of life scores and short-term outcomes after surgery for cancer of the oesophagus and gastric cardia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • JM Blazeby
  • CP Barham
  • C Metcalfe
  • J Donovan
  • J Niclin

Colleges, School and Institutes


BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that baseline quality of life (QOL) scores are independently prognostic for survival in patients with cancer, but the role of QOL data in predicting short-term outcome after surgery is uncertain. This study assessed the association between QOL scores and short-term outcomes after surgery for oesophageal and gastric cancer. METHODS: Consecutive patients selected for oesophagectomy or total gastrectomy between November 2000 and May 2003 completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer's quality of life questionnaire, QLQ-C30. Multivariable regression models, adjusting for known clinical risk factors, were used to investigate relationships between QOL scores, major morbidity, hospital stay and survival status at 6 months. RESULTS: Of 130 patients, 121 completed the questionnaire (response rate 93.1 per cent). There were 29 major complications (24.0 per cent) and 22 patients (18.2 per cent) died within 6 months of operation. QOL scores were not associated with major morbidity but were significantly related to survival status at 6 months after adjusting for known clinical risk factors. A worse fatigue score of 10 points (scale 0-100) corresponded to an increase in the odds of death within 6 months of surgery of 37.4 (95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 12.4 to 67.8) per cent (P = 0.002). Pretreatment social function scores were moderately associated with hospital stay (P = 0.021); a reduction in social function by 10 points corresponded to an increase in hospital stay of 0.93 (95 per cent c.i. 0.12 to 1.74) days. CONCLUSION: QOL scores supplement standard staging procedures for oesophageal and gastric cancer by providing prognostic information, but they do not contribute to perioperative risk assessment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1502-1507
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005