Quality of care and short- and long-term outcomes of laryngeal cancer care in the elderly

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Objectives/Hypothesis To examine associations between quality of care, short- and long-term treatment-related outcomes, and costs in elderly patients treated for laryngeal squamous cell cancer (SCCA). Study Design Retrospective analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data. Methods We evaluated longitudinal data from 2,370 patients diagnosed with laryngeal SCCA from 2004 to 2007 using cross-tabulations, multivariate regression, and survival analysis. Using quality indicators derived from guidelines for recommended care and performance measures, an overall summary measure of quality was calculated incorporating summary quality measures for diagnosis, initial treatment, performance, surveillance, treatment for recurrence, and end-of-life care. Results Higher-quality care was associated with a lower likelihood of long-term weight loss (odds ratio [OR] = 0.6 [0.5-0.8]), stricture (OR = 0.5 [0.3-0.8]), gastrostomy dependence (OR = 0.5 [0.4-0.7]), airway obstruction (OR = 0.7 [0.6-0.9]), tracheostomy (OR = 0.5 [0.3-0.7]), and pneumonia (OR = 0.7 [0.5-0.9]), but had no impact on the likelihood of dysphagia. Higher-quality care was associated with lower risk of death in patients with dysphagia (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.7 [0.6-0.8]), weight loss (HR = 0.8 [0.6-0.9]), airway obstruction (HR = 0.7 [0.6-0.8]), tracheostomy (HR = 0.7 [0.5-0.9]), and pneumonia (HR = 0.8 [0.6-0.9]), but was not associated with survival differences in patients with gastrostomy dependence or stricture. Costs associated with dysphagia, weight loss, stricture, airway obstruction, and pneumonia were lower for patients receiving higher-quality care. Conclusions Higher-quality larynx cancer care was associated with a reduced incidence of late airway and swallowing impairment after laryngeal SCCA treatment in elderly patients, with improved survival and reduced costs. These data suggest that greater attention to evidence-based practices associated with quality indicators may lead to improved functional outcomes in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2323-2329
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Larynx cancer
  • SEER-Medicare
  • aspiration
  • chemotherapy
  • cost
  • dysphagia
  • elderly
  • gastrostomy
  • outcomes
  • pneumonia
  • quality
  • radiation
  • squamous cell cancer
  • surgery
  • survival
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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