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Clin Plast Surg. 2013 Apr;40(2):341-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2012.10.008. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Measuring health-related quality of life outcomes in head and neck reconstruction.

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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, MRI 1007, New York, NY 10065, USA.


A qualitative study was undertaken to understand the impact of omitted health concepts in existing patient-reported outcome (PRO) instruments for health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) evaluation following head and neck (H&N) cancer reconstruction. Twenty-six patients were interviewed. Patients described a broad range of symptoms. Oral competence, rhinorrhea, facial sensation, smile, vision and eye discharge are missing from existing PRO instruments. Altered appearance was a major stressor; both function and appearance changes had a negative psychosocial impact leading to social isolation and embarrassment. This framework is the foundation for development of a more complete PRO instrument, the FACE-Q Oncology.

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