The objective of this study was to assess the quality of life (QoL) in patients with head-and-neck paragangliomas (‘glomus tumors’).
We conducted a case–control study.
We assessed QoL in 82 patients with head-and-neck paragangliomas using four validated health-related questionnaires: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Multidimensional Fatigue Index (MFI-20), Short Form-36 (SF-36), and Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). Patient outcomes were compared with controls provided by the patients and with a large age- and sex-adjusted control group.
The QoL scores in the paraganglioma patients were significantly reduced in 12 out of the 21 subscales compared with own controls, and in 18 out of the 21 subscales compared with age- and sex-adjusted values derived from the previous studies. In the MFI-20 questionnaire, patients reported more general fatigue, physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and a reduction in activity and motivation. The scores in the NHP showed a difference in energy, emotional reaction, and social isolation. General health perception, pain, and physical functioning were reported to be worse in the paraganglioma patients on the SF-36 scale. Although anxiety and depression did not reveal any significant differences between patients and their own controls, an increased score on both anxiety and depression was seen when compared with the extended control group. Especially, dysphonia contributes to a reduced QoL.
QoL is considerably reduced in patients with head-and-neck paragangliomas.