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