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Ann Surg. 2015 Jun;261(6):1131-7. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000000832.

Long-term Shifting Patterns in Quality of Life After Distal Subtotal Gastrectomy: Preoperative- and Healthy-based Interpretations.

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*Department of Surgery, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Republic of Korea; and †Gastric Cancer Center, Kyungpook National University Medical Center, Daegu, Republic of Korea.



The study assessed long-term shifting patterns in quality of life (QoL) after distal subtotal gastrectomy relative to an estimated healthy population QoL (HPQoL), and compared them to shifting patterns interpreted in terms of a preoperative QoL baseline.


QoL data from 127 gastric cancer patients who underwent open distal subtotal gastrectomy were obtained at the preoperative period and at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months after surgery. QoL data obtained from 127 age- and sex-adjusted healthy individuals were used to estimate HPQoL.


The study used the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QoL Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) and a gastric cancer module (QLQ-STO22) to assess QoL. Comparisons were made between preoperative-based and healthy-based interpretations of longitudinal QoL shifting patterns.


Among the persistently deteriorated QoL variables indicated by the preoperative-based interpretation (physical functioning, role functioning, cognitive functioning, nausea and vomiting, dyspnea, diarrhea, dysphagia, eating restrictions, dry mouth, and body image), eating restrictions and body image concerns were the only factors indicated by a healthy-based interpretation. In this interpretation, financial difficulties were evident at the preoperative period and persisted for at least 36 months. When preoperative QoL was used as a baseline, decreased QoL due to financial difficulties was not revealed.


Persistent QoL deterioration after distal subtotal gastrectomy is primarily due to financial difficulties, eating restrictions, and body image concerns. Preoperative-based interpretation of postoperative QoL may exaggerate the persistency of reduced QoL and conceal on-going QoL deterioration after surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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