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There is increasing evidence that patients treated for trauma or cancer of the head and neck may go on to experience psychological distress. We aimed to measure the impact of this on their quality of life (QoL) and to explore their willingness to be referred for psychological support. A total of 96 patients with facial injuries and 124 with cancer of the head and neck completed a self-reported questionnaire to identify psychological distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) Scale), quality of life (WHOQoL-BREF), satisfaction with treatment, and willingness to accept psychological support. Thirty-nine percent of patients showed high levels of depressive symptoms and 43% reported high levels of anxiety; 43% in the trauma group and 12% in the cancer group had high ASD scores. Patients with high scores on the HADS reported poorer QoL, and 40% of those with high levels of psychological distress were willing to consider psychological support. Despite the fact that patients report high levels of satisfaction with their medical and surgical care, many have psychological problems and have needs that are not being met. A large proportion would use psychological support services. © 2014 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Publication Date





513 - 517