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Cancer. 2007 Dec 1;110(11):2568-75.

Emotional well-being does not predict survival in head and neck cancer patients: a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA. jcoyne@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The objective of the current study was to examine whether emotional well-being predicted survival in a large sample of patients with head and neck cancer who were participating in multicenter clinical trials.

METHODS:

Participants were enrolled in 2 Radiation Oncology Group (RTOG) clinical trials (RTOG 9003 and RTOG 9111) and completed a baseline measure of quality of life (the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General [FACT-G]), which included an Emotional Well-Being subscale. The outcome measure was overall survival. Main statistical analyses included overall survival rates, which were estimated by using the Kaplan-Meier method with univariate comparisons analyzed using the log-rank test. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine whether emotional well-being had prognostic impact on survival after accounting for tumor-related and sociodemographic variables. Additional exploratory analyses examined possible subgroup effects.

RESULTS:

No statistically significant univariate or multivariate effects were observed for emotional well-being, and there were no effects limited to subgroups. These results stand in sharp contrast to the prognostic value of a variety of demographic and clinical variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current results add to the weight of the evidence that emotional functioning is not an independent predictor of survival in cancer patients. The study had the advantage of a large number of deaths to be explained in a sample with the uniformity of treatment and quality of care that is required in clinical trials.

Copyright (c) 2007 American Cancer Society.

Comment in

PMID:
17955501
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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