Knowledge of factors associated with health-related quality of life in patients with facial palsy may aid in better interpreting outcomes of research and treatment.
To identify factors associated with health-related quality of life in patients with facial palsy.
The inclusion period for participants in this cross-sectional study at the University Medical Center Groningen, a tertiary referral center for facial reanimation surgery, was March 1 to June 1, 2019. Patients aged at least 18 years with facial palsy who had undergone surgery for facial palsy between January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2018, and patients visiting the outpatient clinic of the University of Groningen Department of Plastic Surgery for their facial palsy between March 1 and June 1, 2019, were also asked to participate. Of 276 patients invited, 145 gave informed consent. Twenty patients did not respond after consent, 3 patients withdrew from the study, and 1 patient was wrongly included.
Health-related quality of life was measured using the Facial Clinimetric Evaluation Scale and the Facial Disability Index (physical score and social score). Facial function was assessed with the Sunnybrook Facial Grading System. Other variables were investigated using validated questionnaires, including the Duke University Religion Index, Ten-Item Personality Inventory, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Multivariable linear regression analyses with stepwise backward selection were performed to identify associations with health-related quality of life. Because 44 Sunnybrook composite scores were missing, a sensitivity analysis was performed that excluded the Sunnybrook composite scores from the multivariable analysis.
In total, 121 patients with facial palsy were included; their median age was 62 years (interquartile range, 48-71 years), and 63 (52%) were women. Sunnybrook composite score (β = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.5), extraversion (β = 2.6; 95% CI, 0.4-4.8), and anxiety (β = -2.4; 95% CI, -4.1 to -0.8) were associated with the Facial Clinimetric Evaluation Scale total score (R2 = 0.380; 95% CI, 0.212-0.548). The Sunnybrook composite score was associated with the Facial Disability Index physical score (β = 0.2; 95% CI, 0.0-0.4) (R2 = 0.084; 95% CI, -0.037 to 0.205). Bilateral facial palsy (β = -21.2; 95% CI, -32.3 to -10.1), extraversion (β = 2.7; 95% CI, 1.3-4.1), conscientiousness (β = 2.7; 95% CI, 0.2-5.2), emotional stability (β = 3.3; 95% CI, 1.7-4.8), and depression (β = -1.3; 95% CI, -2.5 to -0.1) were associated with the Facial Disability Index social score (R2 = 0.400; 95% CI, 0.262-0.538). In the sensitivity analysis, the Sunnybrook composite score was associated with age (Spearman ρ = -0.252).
Bilateral facial palsy, age, severity of facial palsy, mental distress, and personality traits should be taken into account in future research and treatment of patients with facial palsy.