High prevalence of self-reported shoulder complaints after thyroid carcinoma surgery
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SourceHead and Neck : Journal for the Sciences and Specialties of the Head and Neck, 39, 2, (2017), pp. 260-268
Article / Letter to editor
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Head and Neck : Journal for the Sciences and Specialties of the Head and Neck
SubjectRadboudumc 14: Tumours of the digestive tract RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
BACKGROUND: Shoulder complaints are frequently reported after surgical treatment for thyroid carcinoma. However, no specific literature on this topic is available for these patients and, hence, its impact on quality of life (QOL) is unknown and there are no known predictors of shoulder complaints in this specific patient population. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of shoulder-related complaints and its relation to QOL and clinical characteristics after thyroid carcinoma surgery by means of a cross-sectional case control study in a tertiary referral center. METHODS: The prevalence of shoulder complaints and its relation to clinical characteristics and QOL after thyroid carcinoma surgery (n = 109) was compared to a healthy control group (n = 81). Main outcome measures are prevalence of self-reported shoulder complaints, results of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire (DASH), and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30-questions (EORTC-QLQ-C30). RESULTS: Patients with thyroid carcinoma, on average 10.2 years after thyroid surgery, reported a 58.7% prevalence of shoulder-related complaints, which was significantly more than the 13.6% reported by healthy controls (p < .01). Patients with thyroid carcinoma scored worse than healthy controls on most of the different subscales of the DASH and EORTC-QLQ-C30. Bivariate association analysis identified level V neck dissection as being associated with the prevalence of shoulder complaints and the DASH score, and spinal accessory nerve damage and employment status as being associated with the DASH score. Prevalence of shoulder complaints and the DASH scores were significantly correlated to several EORTC-QLQ-C30 scores. Only 11.9% of patients with thyroid carcinoma retrospectively reported having received preoperative information on possible shoulder complaints and only 34.9% of patients with thyroid carcinoma retrospectively reported having received additional care for their shoulder complaints. CONCLUSION: Shoulder complaints represent and underestimated problem and are reported by many patients who had surgery for thyroid carcinoma. Information provision to the patient should be improved, shoulder complaints should be registered, and additional care should be provided after thyroid carcinoma surgery to improve QOL. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 39: 260-268, 2017.
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