Assessment of fatigability, depression, and self-esteem among head-and-neck carcinoma patients in a tertiary care hospital in South India

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Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics


Background: Head and Neck Carcinoma (HNCs) are the most common form of cancer in India. Patients with head-and-neck carcinomas often suffer from various distressing symptoms. The exact cause of these symptoms, as to whether disease or treatment or other factor induced, needs to be established. Objectives: This study was done to assess fatigability, depression, and self-esteem among HNC study group before start, during, and in postradiation period and to find out the determinants of these parameters. Materials and Methods: Seventy newly diagnosed HNC patients and equivalent number of age- and gender-matched controls were interviewed using standardized questionnaires, before start of concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT). The study group patients were interviewed again in the 4 week and postcompletion of CCRT in the 7 week. Results: Mean age of the study group was 55.1 ± 11.3 years. Three-fourth of them (52 [74.3%]) were males. Majority of them (26 [37.1%]) had oral carcinomas. Baseline fatigue (P < 0.001) and depression scores (P < 0.001) were significantly more, while self-esteem scores (P = 0.004) were significantly less among the study group compared to controls before the onset of radiation. Mean fatigue and depression scores were found to significantly increase (P < 0.001), while self-esteem scores were found to significantly deteriorate (P < 0.001) over the course of CCRT among these patients. There was significant positive correlation (P < 0.001) between fatigue and depression scores and negative correlation (P < 0.001) of these parameters with self-esteem scores before, during, and after CCRT. There was no association between age and gender of the study group with any of these parameters. Multivariate analysis showed that baseline fatigue was significant (P < 0.001) and, depression after completion of the entire course of CCRT was significantly influenced by baseline depression levels (P = 0.011). Conclusions: Fatigue and depression need to be periodically screened among HNC study group on CCRT so as to initiate prompt remedial measures for its alleviation. th th

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