Objectives: To assess the long-term survival of brain tumor patients, and in particular to evaluate the relation of quality of life (QOL) to survival among low-grade glioma patients.
Methods: The postoperative survival of 101 brain tumor patients was followed from surgery (1990-1992) until the end of the year 2003. Depression was evaluated by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and QOL with Sintonen's 15D scale before operation and at one year as well as at five years after operation.
Results: The mean survival times in years (SD) were significantly related to tumor malignancy, being the shortest, 1.9 (0.6), for patients with high-grade gliomas, while patients with low-grade gliomas or a benign brain tumor had mean survival times of 9.1 (1.0) and 11.6 (0.5), respectively. At all follow-ups, depressed low-grade glioma patients had a significantly shorter survival time, 3.3-5.8 years, compared to non-depressed low-grade glioma patients, 10.0-11.7 years. A decreased level of QOL in low-grade glioma patients was significantly related to the shorter survival.
Conclusions: The results suggest that depression and decreased QOL among low-grade glioma patients is related to shorter survival at long-term follow-up. Decreased QOL may serve as an indicator for poor prognosis in low-grade glioma patients.