Background. Version 4 of the University of Washington Head and Neck Cancer Questionnaire (UW-QOLv4) includes items on mood and anxiety. The aim of this study was to compare the responses to these single items with the Centre for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS). Methods. A cross-sectional postal survey was undertaken in April 2003. The survey was composed of all patients treated for oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma between 1992 and 2002 who were alive and disease free. Results. We distributed 306 questionnaires; there were 197 replies (65%) from 110 male and 87 female patients. Most patients reported relatively little depression, with 170 of 190 (89%) reporting a HADS depression score of less than 11. Similarly, most patients were not anxious, with 158 of 183 (86%) reporting a HADS anxiety score of less than 11. UW-QOL mood, UW-QOL anxiety, HADS anxiety, HADS depression, and CES-D scores were all moderately intercorrelated (Spearman correlations from 0.39–0.68 ignoring the signs, all p < .001). The UW-QOL mood correlated with the scores and “case-ness” categories of the HADS depression and CES-D scales, whereas the UW-QOL anxiety correlated with the scores and “case-ness” of the HADS anxiety. Conclusions. Questions on mood and anxiety can help identify significant psychological morbidity, taking a score of less than 75 for UW-QOL mood and less than 70 for UW-QOL anxiety. This could be used to trigger formal psychological assessment and with a view to possible therapeutic intervention.
- health-related quality of life
- head and neck cancer