Influence of follow-up on health-related quality of life after radical surgery for colorectal cancer

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1999 May;34(5):509-15. doi: 10.1080/003655299750026254.


Background: The possible benefit for patients of follow-up examinations after curative surgery for colorectal cancer is at present not proven. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of follow-up examinations on health-related quality of life and to assess the attitude of the patients to check-ups.

Methods: A total of 350 patients who had had curative surgery for colorectal cancer and who had been subsequently randomized to either frequent follow-up or virtually no follow-up completed the Nottingham Health Profile and a second questionnaire assessing their attitude to the follow-up visits.

Results: The patients who were receiving more frequent follow-up had greater confidence in the check-ups, but the improvement in the health-related quality of life was only marginally better than that of those receiving few follow-up visits.

Conclusion: The relatively small benefit for health-related quality of life does not justify expensive frequent routine examinations after surgery for colorectal cancer. The Nottingham Health Profile proved to be a reliable instrument within this patient group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Quality of Life*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden