Quality of Life and Hearing Thresholds in Oncology Patients
Introduction: The evaluation of quality of life (QoL) assesses patients' well-being by taking into account physical, psychological, and social conditions. Cancer and its treatment result in severe biochemical and physiological alterations associated with a deterioration of QoL. One of the physiological damages is the hearing loss, which can cause communication difficulty.
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the QoL and hearing thresholds in oncology patients.
Method: Overall 76 cancer patients, with ages ranging from 25 to 60 years, were recruited during the treatment. It was used a self-assessment approach, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and a conventional pure tone audiometry. Statistical analysis was performed (t-test) with a significance level of 95% (p < 0.05).
Results: Overall 34.5% of the participants had hearing loss characterized by high frequencies (4.6 and 8 kHz). The global health status and functional scale had a high average (69.36/51.57) therefore, the symptoms scale were lower (36.22) than the others. There was no significant difference between QoL status regarding hearing loss (global and symptoms p = 0.08; functional p = 0.27). They reported tinnitus (57.7%) but there was a negative correlation between QoL (global p = 0.84; functional p = 0.69; symptoms p = 0.28). There was no significant difference between the stage of cancer treatment (middle or final) regarding global status (p = 0.86), functional scale (p = 0.51), and symptoms (p = 0.22).
Conclusion: The patients had a good QoL in spite of having cancer, but they had hearing loss.