Background: The purpose of the present study was to prospectively measure quality of life (QOL) before and after pulmonary resection for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and to determine which clinical perioperative variables predicted QOL.
Methods: Thirty-seven patients undergoing a curative resection for early-stage NSCLC were administered the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung (FACT-L) questionnaire serially. This was used to calculate a Trial Outcome Index (TOI), a measure of QOL.
Results: Perioperative variables associated with worse postoperative TOI included the presence of preoperative dyspnea (coefficient -7.89, 95% confidence interval -12.4 to -3.31, P = .01) and exposure to adjuvant chemotherapy (-14.7, -20.0 to -9.46, P = .001).
Conclusions: Preoperative dyspnea and postoperative chemotherapy are associated with worse postoperative QOL among patients with resected, early-stage NSCLC. As adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy protocols become more prevalent for these patients, QOL issues may assume greater importance.