Handle-On-QOL: a dedicated quality of life resource following the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2020 Sep 2:S0266-4356(20)30234-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2020.05.013. Online ahead of print.


Measuring quality of life (QOL) after head and neck cancer (HNC), is rapidly becoming the standard of care. The Head and Neck Database Listing Evidence on QOL (Handle-On-QOL) is a dedicated QOL resource that includes articles published from 1982 onwards. The aim of this study was to assess the completeness of Handle-On-QOL, when compared with other non-specific search engines. Six years were selected at random; 1982, 1990, 1998, 2003, 2006, 2016. Four search engines were used (Medline, EMBASE,

CINAHL, PsycINFO). Reporting followed PRISMA methodology. A total of 595 papers were assessed, of which 200 met the inclusion criteria. 186 papers were present on Handle-On-QOL, 243 were found on Handle-On-QOL for these six years, but not identified in the other searches, and 14 were missing from Handle-On-QOL. A search using standard engines generated a large number of irrelevant papers. Handle-On-QOL provides a comprehensive and accurate reflection of articles published using questionnaires to report QOL following HNC. This web-based repository (https://www.handle-on-qol.com) acts as a quick reference point for clinicians and researchers.