Background: Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignancy, and surgical resection is the only therapeutic option with pancreaticoduodenectomy being considered the standard of care. It is essential to take into account the patients’ Quality of Life after the resection, in order to make more informed decisions about treatment options. Objective: The aim of the study was to determine perceived Quality of Life levels among patients who undergo pancreaticoduodenectomy, in a period of six months after surgery.
Methods: This prospective study was conducted on all patients (n=40) who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy in Attikon University General Hospital in Athens, Greece, from January 2013 to June 2015. The Quality of Life was assessed by use of EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QOL-PAN26 questionnaires at four phases: First, after admission at the hospital preoperatively, and then one month, three months, and six months postoperatively. Repeated measurements analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used in order to evaluate changes in Quality of Life measures during the follow-up (postoperative) period. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS version 19. A p-value of less than or equal to 0.05 was set as the level of significance. 
Results: The study revealed a mixed image. Except for the nausea and vomiting scale, where indeed a symptom increase is initially reported and then gradually decreases below preoperative levels by 6 months, scoring in many symptom scales worsens postoperatively. From first to fourth assessment, fatigue (Mean from 23.61 to 38.72, p=0.005) and financial difficulties scoring (Mean from 5.98 to 42.42, p<0.001) consistently worsen. Functionality scales scoring also tends to get worse between first and fourth assessment, with statistically significant changes for physical (p<0.001), role (p<0.001) and social functioning (p<0.001). However, a slight improvement can be noted in many scales from third to fourth assessment, as in diarrhea (Mean from 32.38 to 29.29), pancreatic pain (Mean from 17.71 to 2.34), global health status (Mean from 50.48 to 52.53) and social functioning (Mean from 43.81 to 48.48) scales.
Conclusions: Quality of Life levels among patients who undergo pancreaticoduodenectomy are getting worse following surgery. However, the longitudinal study of these changes may improve patients’ postoperative life by formulating evidence-based interventions concerning symptoms treatment and psychological and social support.


Keywords: Pancreatic neoplasms, Pancreaticoduodenectomy, Quality of life


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