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Vol. 74, No. 2, 2006
Issue release date: February 2007
Digestion 2006;74:118–125

Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer

Müller-Nordhorn J. · Roll S. · Böhmig M. · Nocon M. · Reich A. · Braun C. · Noesselt L. · Wiedenmann B. · Willich S.N. · Brüggenjürgen B.
aInstitute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics and bDepartment of Medicine, Division of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany

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Background: Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer with low survival time, with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) being of major importance. The aim of our study was to assess both generic and disease-specific HRQoL in patients with pancreatic cancer. Methods: Patients with pancreatic cancer were consecutively included at admission to hospital. HRQoL was determined with the disease-specific European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and generic EuroQoL (EQ-5D) health status instruments. Scores of patients were compared to those of norm populations. The association of symptoms with overall HRQoL was analysed using linear regression. Results: A total of 45 patients with pancreatic cancer were included. The mean age was 64 years, 53% were females. Of all patients, 44% had metastases at the time of admission. HRQoL was significantly impaired for most EORTC and EQ-5D scales in comparison to norm populations. Symptoms of fatigue (–0.34 regression coefficient; 95% CI –0.63, –0.11) and pain (–0.21; 95% CI –0.39, –0.02) were significantly associated with impaired overall HRQoL. Conclusions: HRQoL was severely impaired in patients with pancreatic cancer. Symptom control and palliative care appear to be of particular importance.

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