Table 4

Mean differences with 95% CIs in HRQOL between men and women with high education level (≥10 years) versus low education level (≤9 years) 6 months after oesophageal cancer surgery

HRQOL aspectEducation levelP valuesEducation levelP valuesEducation levelP values
LowLowHighLowHighLow
Men n=145Women n=29Women n=42Women n=29Men n=162Men n=145
Mean scores
(95% CI)
Mean differences (95% CI)Mean scores
(95% CI)
Mean differences (95% CI)Mean scores
(95% CI)
Mean differences (95% CI)
EORTC QLQ-C30
 Global quality of life48 (41 to 55)−2 (−11 to 8)57 (48 to 66)−10 (−21 to 0)0.0550 (43 to 57)−2 (−7 to 3)
 Functional scales
  Physical65 (59 to 72)−1 (−9 to 8)73 (65 to 82)−8 (−18 to 2)71 (64 to 78)−5 (−10 to 0)
  Role46 (35 to 56)2 (−12 to 16)61 (47 to 75)−13 (−29 to 3)0.1253 (42 to 63)−7 (−14 to 1)
  Emotional64 (56 to 71)−13 (−22 to −3)0.0174 (64 to 83)−22 (−34 to −11)0.000164 (57 to 71)0 (−6 to 5)
  Cognitive74 (67 to 80)−7 (−16 to 2)86 (77 to 95)−20 (−30 to −10)0.000277 (70 to 84)−3 (−8 to 2)
  Social64 (55 to 73)−6 (−17 to 6)73 (61 to 84)−14 (−28 to −1)0.0360 (51 to 68)4 (−2 to 11)
 Symptom scales
  Fatigue58 (50 to 66)3 (−7 to 14)47 (37 to 58)14 (1 to 26)0.0353 (45 to 61)5 (−1 to 11)
  Nausea/vomiting24 (17 to 32)8 (−2 to 17)27 (17 to 37)5 (−6 to 16)21 (13 to 28)4 (−1 to 9)
  Pain34 (25 to 42)4 (−7 to 16)17 (5 to 28)21 (7 to 34)0.00228 (19 to 37)5 (−2 to 12)
 Symptom items
  Dyspnoea49 (39 to 58)−5 (−17 to 8)38 (25 to 50)7 (−8 to 22)44 (34 to 54)5 (−2 to 12)
  Insomnia28 (19 to 37)20 (8 to 32)0.0126 (14 to 38)22 (8 to 36)0.00226 (17 to 35)2 (−5 to 9)
  Appetite loss45 (34 to 56)12 (−3 to 26)0.1240 (26 to 55)16 (−1 to 33)0.0643 (32 to 54)2 (−7 to 10)
  Constipation17 (6 to 25)2 (−8 to 11)15 (6 to 25)4 (−8 to 15)14 (7 to 21)4 (−2 to 9)
  Diarrhoea36 (26 to 46)4 (−9 to 17)29 (16 to 43)10 (−5 to 26)0.1933 (23 to 43)3 (−4 to 11)
  Financial difficulties27 (19 to 35)2 (−9 to 13)20 (9 to 31)9 (−3 to 22)22 (14 to 30)5 (−1 to 11)
EORTC QLQ-OES 18
 Disease-specific symptom scales
  Dysphagia29 (20 to 37)5 (−6 to 16)26 (15 to 37)8 (−5 to 21)31 (23 to 40)−2 (−9 to 4)
  Reflux22 (13 to 31)15 (3 to 26)0.0224 (12 to 36)13 (−1 to 26)0.0620 (11 to 30)2 (−5 to 9)
  Eating difficulties45 (37 to 53)1 (−10 to 12)42 (31 to 53)4 (−8 to 17)45 (36 to 53)0 (−6 to 6)
  Oesophageal pain28 (21 to 36)6 (−4 to 16)22 (12 to 32)12 (1 to 24)0.0426 (18 to 34)2 (−3 to 8)
 Disease-specific items
  Trouble swallowing saliva19 (11 to 27)2 (−9 to 13)17 (6 to 28)4 (−9 to 16)17 (9 to 25)2 (−4 to 8)
  Choking26 (18 to 34)1 (−10 to 12)21 (10 to 32)5 (−7 to 18)23 (14 to 31)3 (−3 to 9)
  Dry mouth34 (24 to 44)7 (−6 to 20)24 (11 to 38)17 (2 to 32)0.0328 (18 to 38)6 (−2 to 13)
  Coughing30 (20 to 40)−6 (−19 to 7)29 (16 to 42)−5 (−20 to 10)32 (22 to 42)−2 (−9 to 6)
  Speech difficulties24 (17 to 32)−9 (−19 to 2)19 (8 to 29)−3 (−15 to 9)25 (17 to 32)0 (−6 to 5)
  Problems with taste36 (26 to 46)1 (−12 to 15)29 (16 to 42)9 (−7 to 24)33 (23 to 43)2 (−5 to 10)
  • The models used to calculate mean scores and mean score differences were adjusted for age, number of comorbidities, tumour stage, tumour histology, tumour location, body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 and postoperative complications. A mean score difference of ≥10 is considered clinically relevant and further tested for statistical significance.

  • EORTC QLQ-C30, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30; HRQOL, health-related quality of life; OES 18, oesophageal cancer-specific module.