Table 5

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

HRQOL aspectEducation levelP valuesEducation levelP valuesEducation levelP value
LowLowHighLowHighLow
Men n=63Women n=15Women n=21Women n=15Men n=73Men n=63
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 life59 (45 to 73)−4 (−18 to 9)60 (43 to 76)−6 (−21 to 10)60 (46 to 73)−1 (−9 to 6)
 Functional scales
  Physical74 (61 to 86)−5 (−17 to 7)73 (58 to 88)−5 (−18 to 9)73 (61 to 85)0 (–7 to 7)
  Role71 (51 to 91)−16 (−36 to 3)0.0979 (55 to 102)−25 (−46 to −3)0.0370 (51 to 89)1 (–10 to 12)
  Emotional67 (53 to 80)−8 (−21 to 5)74 (58 to 90)−15 (−30 to 0)0.0469 (56 to 82)−2 (−10 to 5)
  Cognitive79 (66 to 91)−7 (−19 to 5)84 (69 to 98)−12 (−25 to 2)0.1079 (67 to 91)0 (–7 to 7)
  Social74 (58 to 90)−14 (−30 to 1)0.0782 (63 to 100)−22 (−39 to −4)0.0170 (55 to 85)4 (–4 to 13)
 Symptom scales
  Fatigue31 (15 to 48)8 (–8 to 24)33 (13 to 52)6 (–11 to 24)35 (19 to 50)−4 (−13 to 5)
  Nausea/vomiting19 (5 to 33)5 (–8 to 19)21 (5 to 38)3 (–12 to 18)15 (2 to 29)3 (–4 to 11)
  Pain20 (4 to 37)3 (–13 to 19)23 (3 to 43)0 (–18 to 18)20 (4 to 36)0 (–9 to 9)
 Symptom items
  Dyspnoea43 (24 to 62)−2 (−20 to 16)45 (22 to 67)−4 (−25 to 19)43 (25 to 62)−1 (−11 to 10)
  Insomnia37 (17 to 57)4 (–15 to 23)43 (20 to 67)−2 (−24 to 17)31 (12 to 51)6 (–5 to 17)
  Appetite loss21 (1 to 42)17 (–3 to 36)0.1027 (3 to 51)11 (–11 to 33)0.3334 (14 to 53)−12 (−23 to −1)0.03
  Constipation9 (–4 to 23)12 (–2 to 25)0.0914 (–2 to 30)7 (–9 to 22)13 (0 to 26)−4 (−11 to 4)
  Diarrhoea29 (10 to 48)−5 (−24 to 14)35 (12 to 57)−11 (−32 to 11)0.3232 (13 to 51)−3 (−14 to 7)
 Financial difficulties23 (9 to 37)4 (–9 to 18)11 (–6 to 27)17 (1 to 32)0.0317 (3 to 30)6 (–2 to 14)
EORTC QLQ-OES 18
 Disease-specific symptom scales
  Dysphagia25 (5 to 46)6 (–14 to 26)13 (–11 to 37)19 (–4 to 41)0.1020 (1 to 40)5 (–6 to 16)
  Reflux23 (4 to 42)3 (–15 to 21)27 (4 to 49)0 (–21 to 20)17 (–1 to 36)6 (–5 to 16)
  Eating difficulties24 (7 to 41)7 (–10 to 23)30 (10 to 49)1 (–17 to 20)30 (14 to 46)−6 (−15 to 3)
  Oesophageal pain24 (11 to 38)−3 (−17 to 10)22 (6 to 38)−1 (−16 to 14)17 (4 to 31)7 (–1 to 15)
 Disease-specific items
  Trouble swallowing saliva9 (–8 to 26)−2 (−17 to 13)8 (-11 to 28)−2 (−18 to 15)5 (–12 to 22)4 (–5 to 12)
  Choking9 (–6 to 23)3 (–11 to 17)15 (–2 to 32)−4 (−19 to 12)6 (–8 to 20)3 (–5 to 11)
  Dry mouth14 (–6 to 34)14 (–6 to 33)0.1627 (3 to 51)1 (–21 to 23)13 (–7 to 32)2 (–10 to 13)
  Coughing10 (–8 to 28)5 (–13 to 22)16 (–5 to 38)−1 (−21 to 18)18 (1 to 36)−8 (−18 to 2)
  Speech difficulties12 (–1 to 24)−2 (15 to 10)12 (–3 to 26)−3 (−16 to 11)11 (–1 to 23)0 (–6 to 7)
  Problems with taste8 (–11 to 26)22 (4 to 40)0.0211 (–11 to 32)19 (–1 to 39)0.0712 (–6 to 29)−4 (−14 to 6)
  • 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. Statistical significance was calculated only for clinically relevant differences.

  • 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.