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  1. Spector, Nancy M. DNSc, RN
  2. Hicks, Frank D. PhD, RN
  3. Pickleman, Jack MD


Oncologic outcomes of gastroesophageal surgery may be similar, but little is known about the impact on patients' postoperative symptom experience and quality of life (QOL). The purpose of this pilot study was to describe overall QOL and symptom experience of individuals who underwent either total gastrectomy with Roux-en-Y esophagojejunostomy or esophagogastrectomy for adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction. The Gastroenterology Quality of Life Index (GQLI) and the Life After Gastric Surgery (LAGS), developed by the investigators for measuring symptom frequency, were used to measure variables of interest. The sample (n = 27) had a relatively high QOL, but experienced difficulties with eating patterns, physical functioning, socialization, and happiness. There were significant differences between the two procedures related to QOL and symptom frequency in that individuals who had the total gastrectomy fared somewhat better. Further, patients who had esophagogastrectomy had greater symptom frequency and significantly poorer QOL. Although initially compelling, these data warrant further investigation into the QOL and symptom impact in a more diverse population of patients with cancer of the stomach or esophagus. These results, however, suggest several areas where nursing interventions could help these patients.