Table 3

Mean score differences with 95% CIs in HRQOL between patients with high education level (≥10 years) versus low education level (≤9 years) 6 months and 3 years after oesophageal cancer surgery

HRQOL aspectLevel of education
Six monthsThree years
High
(reference)
LowHigh
(reference)
Low
Mean scores
(95% CI)
Mean differences
(95% CI)
Mean scores
(95% CI)
Mean differences
(95% CI)
EORTC QLQ-C30
  Global quality of life52 (45 to 59)−3 (−8 to 1)59 (45 to 72)−2 (−9 to 5)
  Functional scales
    Physical72 (65 to 78)−6 (−10 to −2)72 (60 to 84)−1 (−7 to 6)
    Role56 (45 to 66)−8 (−15 to −1)69 (50 to 89)−4 (−14 to 6)
    Emotional65 (58 to 73)−4 (−10 to 1)69 (56 to 82)−5 (−12 to 2)
    Cognitive79 (72 to 86)−6 (−11 to −2)79 (67 to 91)−3 (−9 to 4)
    Social63 (54 to 73)1 (−5 to 7)71 (55 to 87)−1 (−9 to 7)
  Symptom scales
    Fatigue52 (44 to 60)7 (1 to 12)35 (19 to 52)−2 (−10 to 7)
    Nausea/vomiting24 (17 to 31)4 (−1 to 9)18 (5 to 32)3 (−4 to 10)
    Pain25 (16 to 34)8 (2 to 14)22 (5 to 38)0 (−8 to 8)
  Symptom items
    Dyspnoea41 (31 to 51)5 (-1 to 12)43 (25 to 62)−2 (−11 to 8)
    Insomnia29 (20 to 39)6 (0 to 12)36 (16 to 55)4 (−6 to 14)
    Appetite loss44 (33 to 58)4 (−3 to 12)35 (15 to 55)−8 (−18 to 2)
    Constipation15 (7 to 22)4 (−1 to 8)16 (2 to 29)−2 (−9 to 5)
    Diarrhoea32 (22 to 42)4 (−2 to 11)32 (13 to 51)−5 (−14 to 5)
  Financial difficulties22 (13 to 30)6 (1 to 12)16 (2 to 29)8 (1 to 15)
EORTC QLQ-OES 18
  Disease-specific symptom scales
    Dysphagia30 (22 to 38)−1 (−7 to 5)19 (−1 to 39)8 (−2 to 18)
    Reflux24 (15 to 33)4 (−2 to 10)21 (3 to 39)5 (−5 to 14)
    Eating difficulties44 (36 to 52)1 (−4 to 7)31 (15 to 47)−5 (−13 to 4)
    Oesophageal pain26 (18 to 33)4 (−1 to 9)18 (5 to 32)5 (−1 to 12)
  Disease-specific items
    Trouble swallowing saliva17 (9 to 26)2 (−3 to 8)6 (-11 to 22)3 (−5 to 11)
    Choking22 (14 to 31)4 (−2 to 9)9 (-4 to 23)2 (−5 to 9)
    Dry mouth28 (18 to 38)8 (1 to 14)20 (1 to 39)1 (−8 to 11)
    Coughing30 (20 to 40)−2 (−9 to 4)19 (1 to 36)−7 (−16 to 2)
    Speech difficulties21 (13 to 29)−1 (−6 to 4)11 (−1 to 23)0 (−6 to 6)
    Problems with taste32 (22 to 42)4 (−3 to 10)15 (−3 to 33)0 (−9 to 10)
  • The models used to calculate mean scores and mean score differences were adjusted for age, sex, 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.