Patient-assessed outcomes after excision of acoustic neuroma: postoperative symptoms and quality of life

J Neurosurg. 2001 Feb;94(2):211-6. doi: 10.3171/jns.2001.94.2.0211.


Object: The aim of this study was to assess whether outcomes from excision of acoustic neuroma vary among patients and have a material impact on their quality of life (QOL).

Methods: A questionnaire concerning postoperative symptoms and the Short Form 36 (SF-36) QOL instrument were mailed to 97 consecutive patients who had undergone acoustic neuroma surgery via the translabyrinthine approach. The survey response rate was 78% and the symptomatology was consistent with other reports, supporting the representativeness of the sample. The respondents' QOL was rated significantly below published norms and their work capacity was reportedly reduced. Specifically, the following SF-36 dimensions were reduced: physical functioning and role-physical, together with vitality, general health, and social functioning. Greater numbers of postoperative symptoms and larger tumors were associated with a worse rating of physical functioning. More severe balance problems were associated with lower ratings of social functioning. The disparity between the patient's self-estimate and self-measurement and the clinician's assessment of the patient's facial functioning raises doubts about the validity of subjective reports and assessment.

Conclusions: The present study supports the use of generic QOL measures to assess outcome and to draw comparisons between different populations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination*
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / psychology
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / surgery*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life*