Xerostomia after treatment for oral and oropharyngeal cancer using the University of Washington saliva domain and a xerostomia-related quality-of-life scale

S. Rogers, I. Johnson, D. Lowe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose The first aim of this study was to identify which clinical factors are associated with xerostomia in patients after treatment for oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, using the Xerostomia-Related Quality-of-Life Scale (XeQoLS) and the University of Washington Quality-of-Life Questionnaire Version 4 dry mouth item (UW-QOL v4). The second aim was to compare these two questionnaires and postulate a cutoff in the UW-QOL below which patients are doing sufficient badly to warrant further evaluation and support. Methods and Materials In all, 371 patients alive and disease free treated between 1992 and 2005 were sent the survey, of whom 250 (67%) responded. Various clinical factors correlated with xerostomia, particularly adjuvant radiotherapy and Pstage. Results In logistic regression analyses to predict three or more problems on the XeQoLS, only adjuvant radiotherapy (p < 0.001) was significant at the 5% level. There were significant (p < 0.001) correlations between the XeQoLS scores (total average and domain) with all the UW-QOL domain scores, the strongest with swallowing (−0.69), taste (−0.64), chewing (−0.64), mood (−0.60), and saliva (−0.59) domains. Patients scoring <70 (i.e., 0 or 30) on the UW-QOL could be used as a screening cutoff because it formed 1 in 5 of all patients (49/242) but accounted for half (299/566) of the significant problems generated by the XeQoLS. This also identified 13/21 patients with 10 or more problems. Conclusion The UW-QOL saliva domain seems to be a suitable means of screening for dry mouth in head-and-neck clinics and could be used to trigger interventions. Author Keywords: Mouth neoplasm; Head-and-neck cancer; Questionnaires; Xerostomia-related quality-of-life scale (XeQoLS); UW-QOL; Xerostomia
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-23
    JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010


    Cite this