Social determinants of health-related quality of life outcomes for head and neck cancer patients

SIMON ROGERS, Derek Lowe, Anastasios Kanatas

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Abstract: The influence of area-based and individual indicators of socioeconomic status (SES) on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and patient concerns following head and neck cancer is complex and under-reported. The aim of this study is to use baseline data collected as part of a randomised controlled trial to provide greater detail on the attribution of SES to University of Washington Quality of Life version 4 (UWQOL v4), Distress Thermometer and European Quality of Life Five-Dimension Five-Level (EQ-5D-5L) outcomes. A total of 288 trial patients attended baseline clinics a median (Interquartile (IQR)) of 103 (71–162) days after the end of treatment. Area-based SES was assessed using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2019. Thirty-eight per cent (110/288) of patients lived in the most deprived IMD rank quintile. Less than good overall quality of life (31% overall) was associated with current working situation (p = 0.008), receipt of financial benefits (p < 0.001), total household income (p = 0.003) and use of tobacco (p = 0.001). Income and employment were significant patient level indicators predictors of HRQOL outcomes after case-mix adjustment.  The number of Patient Concerns Inventory items selected varied significantly by overall clinical tumour clinical stage (p < 0.001) and by treatment (p < 0.001) but not by area IMD or patient-level deprivation indicators. In conclusion, interventions to improve employment and finance could make a substantial positive effect on HRQOL outcomes and concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-325
Issue number4
Early online date3 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2021


  • social determinants
  • financial toxicity
  • health-related quality of life
  • head and neck cancer
  • quality of life
  • survivorship


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