The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the surgical treatment on Slovenian colorectal cancer patients’ health-related quality of life and to compare the results to the health-related quality of life of the general Slovenian population.
Patients and methods
A total of 413 patients with colorectal cancer operated on at the Abdominal Surgery Department at the Ljubljana University Medical Center between January 1st, 2016 and December 31st, 2017 were sent two standardized and validated questionnaires: the EORTC QLQ-C30 version 3 and EORTC QLQ-CR29. The questionnaires were returned by 197 patients.
Compared to the general population, poorer physical (p < 0.001), role (p = 0.002), cognitive (p = 0.021), and social functioning (p < 0.001) with higher frequency of constipation (p < 0.001), diarrhea (p < 0.001), and financial difficulties (p < 0.001) were reported by the colorectal patients. Female patients reported lower cognitive (p = 0.034) and emotional (p = 0.008) functioning, as well as higher frequency of bloating (p = 0.049) and hair loss (p = 0.01). Compared to the younger group of patients, lower physical functioning (p < 0.001) and higher urinary frequency (p = 0.007), urinary incontinence (p = 0.007), buttock pain (p = 0.007), and anxiety regarding body weight (p = 0.031) were detected among the older group of colorectal patients.
The global health status of colorectal patients in Slovenia is comparable to that of the general Slovenian population, but there is a significantly lower level in some of the quality-of-life scales.