Patient satisfaction and health-related quality of life after treatment for colon cancer

Dis Colon Rectum. 2007 Jun;50(6):801-9. doi: 10.1007/s10350-006-0815-8.


Purpose: Health-related quality of life has become an important outcome in cancer treatment. Detailed health-related quality of life measures were taken as part of a trial of follow-up of patients with colon cancer by general practitioners and surgeons. This study was designed as a longitudinal assessment of health-related quality of life after treatment for carcinoma of the colon and patient satisfaction with two different settings of follow-up (general practitioners vs. surgeons).

Methods: A total of 338 patients were recruited into randomized (n = 203) and patient preference (n = 135) follow-up groups. Prospectively assessed physical and mental health-related quality of life measures and patient satisfaction are reported during two years.

Results: Elderly and less educated patients prefer follow-up by general practitioners over surgeons. Overall, physical health-related quality of life is reduced early after treatment; however, this returns to normal levels at one year. Mental quality of life, anxiety, and depression are at or above population levels throughout the two-year follow-up period. There were no differences in physical or psychologic health-related quality of life measures between general practitioner and surgeon groups at any time during follow-up. Overall, more advanced Dukes stage is associated with a trend to improved mental health-related quality of life. Patients' ability to choose the setting of follow-up has no influence on health-related quality of life compared with random allocation to general practitioner or surgeon. Patients are equally highly satisfied with follow-up by general practitioner or surgeon.

Conclusions: After recovery from treatment for colon cancer, health-related quality of life is similar to the general population. Good health-related quality of life outcomes and high patient satisfaction are as well provided by general practitioners in the community setting as by surgeon review.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physicians, Family
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Factors