Health-related quality of life and postoperative length of stay for patients with colorectal cancer

Shane Holloway, George Sarosi, Lawrence Kim, Fiemu Nwariaku, Grant O'Keefe, Linda Hynan, Charlene Jones, Thomas Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background. Length of stay (LOS) after surgery is a major determinant of resource utilization for colorectal cancer (CRC). The purpose of this study was to examine the association between pretreatment health-related quality of life (HRQL) scores and postoperative hospital LOS in a cohort of patients undergoing surgery for CRC. Methods. Seventy patients with biopsy-proven CRC were enrolled in an IRB-approved, prospective study. Information was collected concerning standard perioperative variables. Prior to surgery, all patients also completed the CRC-specific module of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT-C). Perioperative variables and FACT-C scores were compared with LOS in both univariate and multivariate analysis. LOS for those patients scoring in the lowest quartile on FACT-C was compared with LOS for patients scoring in the remaining quartiles. Results. Median length of stay for the entire group was 6 (range 3-25) days. In univariate analysis, surgical complications (10.6 vs 6.6 days; P = 0.001) and with poorer FACT-C individual scale scores for Physical Well-Being (9.1 vs 7.3 days; P = 0.04), Functional Well-Being (9.6 vs 7.1 days; P = 0.006), and Colorectal Cancer Concerns (9.5 vs 7.1 days; P = 0.01) were all significantly associated with increased length of stay. In multivariate analysis, surgical morbidity (OR = 5.6; 95% CI 1.5-21.4), age >72 (OR = 6.0; 95% CI 1.6-23.5), and low FACT-C total score (OR = 4.2; 95% CI 1.1-15.6) were independently associated with increased LOS. Conclusions. Pretreatment HRQL scores as measured by FACT-C may be of benefit in the prediction of LOS. Such information may be an important and currently neglected means of risk-adjusting populations undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer for this outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Length of stay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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