Health-Related Quality of Life before and after Surgical Resection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Prospective Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of General Surgery, Chi Mei Medical Center, Liouying, Taiwan.

2 Department of General Surgery, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan.

3 Department of Electrical Engineering, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan, Taiwan.

4 Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

5 Department of Healthcare Administration and Medical Informatics, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

6 Department of Medical Research, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan.

7 Master of Health Care Management, Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


Background and Objectives: This large-scale prospective cohort study of a Taiwan population applied generalized estimating equations (GEEs) to evaluate changing trends in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and to compare predictors of HRQoL before and after surgical resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) performed during 2011-2014. Materials and Methods: The Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Hepatobiliary were used in a preoperative assessment and in 3- and 6-month postoperative assessments of 332 HCC patients. Results: The HRQoL was signficantly (p<0.05) improved at 3 months after surgical resection of HCC and plateaued at 6 months after surgery. Scores for both the SF-36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) were significantly higher at the third month after surgery (p<0.05) compared to the preoperative period. Both scores also exceeded the norms after hepatic resection of HCC. However, PCS scores were generally higher than MCS scores throughout the study period. After adjusting for time effects and baseline predictors, GEE approaches revealed the following explanatory variables for HRQoL: time of HRQoL assessment, gender, age, education, coresidence with family, chemotherapy, average length of hospital stay, and preoperative functional status. Conclusions: Hepatic resection significantly increased HRQoL in patients with HCC (p<0.05). However, an evaluation of HRQoL after hepatic resection should consider several factors other than outcomes of the surgery itself. Additionally, patients should be advised that their HRQoL improvement after surgery might depend not only on the success of surgery, but also on their preoperative functional status.


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