Measuring health-related quality of life outcomes in head and neck reconstruction

Clin Plast Surg. 2013 Apr;40(2):341-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2012.10.008. Epub 2012 Nov 26.


A qualitative study was undertaken to understand the impact of omitted health concepts in existing patient-reported outcome (PRO) instruments for health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) evaluation following head and neck (H&N) cancer reconstruction. Twenty-six patients were interviewed. Patients described a broad range of symptoms. Oral competence, rhinorrhea, facial sensation, smile, vision and eye discharge are missing from existing PRO instruments. Altered appearance was a major stressor; both function and appearance changes had a negative psychosocial impact leading to social isolation and embarrassment. This framework is the foundation for development of a more complete PRO instrument, the FACE-Q Oncology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires