Associations between pre-, post-, and peri-operative variables and health resource use following surgery for head and neck cancer

Oral Oncol. 2019 Mar;90:102-108. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2019.02.004. Epub 2019 Feb 11.


Objective: We examined associations between pre-, post-, and peri-operative variables and health resource use in head and neck cancer patients.

Methods: Patients (N = 183) who were seen for a pre-surgical consult between January 2012 and December 2014 completed surveys that assessed medical history, a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) of dysphagia, and quality of life (QOL). After surgery, peri-operative (e.g., tracheostomy, feeding tube) and post-operative (e.g., complications) variables were abstracted from patients' medical records.

Results: Multivariate regression models using backward elimination showed that pre-surgical University of Washington Quality of Life (UW-QOL) Inventory and M.D. Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI) composite scores, documented surgical complications, and having a tracheostomy, were all significant predictors of hospital length of stay, explaining 57% of the total variance (F(5, 160) = 18.71, p < .001). Male gender, psychiatric history, and lower pre-surgical MDADI scores significantly predicted thirty-day unplanned readmissions (30dUR). Pre-surgical MDADI composite scores also significantly predicted emergencey department (ED) visits within 30 days of initial hospital discharge (p = .02).

Conclusions: Assessment of PROMs and QOL in the pre-surgical setting may assist providers in identifying patients at risk for prolonged LOS and increased health resource use after hospital discharge.

Keywords: Head and neck cancer; Health resource use; M D Anderson Dysphagia Inventory; Quality of life; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Deglutition Disorders / complications*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / complications*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Health Resources*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Postoperative Period
  • Preoperative Period*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies