The following article features coverage from the 2018 Oncology Nursing Society’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

WASHINGTON, DC — Vision function (VF) and ocular symptoms (OS) have a strong impact on quality of life (QOL) among patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) after therapy, according to an oral presentation given at the 2018 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Annual Congress. 

Although nearly half of patients with HNC report experiencing vision impairment after treatments (eg, external beam radiation), the associations between vision function, ocular symptoms, and QOL have not been adequately investigated. 

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For this cross-sectional study conducted at the Moffitt Cancer Center, a team led by Hsiao-Lan Wang, PhD, RN, evaluated the outcomes of 485 patients with HNC posttreatment. Patients were tasked with completing an electronic survey that included the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire, Ocular Symptom Scale, and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Head and Neck (FACIT-H&N).  

Of the patients contacted through an email, only 120 (25%) responded to the survey. 

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Results showed that both vision function and ocular symptoms were significantly predictive of physical well-being, but only VF was a significant predictor of functional, emotional, and social well-being, as well as general QOL, HNC QOL, and total FACIT-H&C.