Research Article| Volume 58, ISSUE 9, e25-e32, November 2020

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

Published:September 02, 2020DOI:


      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 ( acts as a quick reference point for clinicians and researchers.


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