Assessing the Quality of Life of Lung Cancer Patients: Revision of the EORTC Questionnaire

An international study (1) on revision of the EORTC questionnaire for the assessment of the quality of life of lung cancer patients was published today in the Annals of Oncology.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in men and women. Smoking is the common cause of lung cancer (85%) followed by work related and air pollution (8%,5% respectively). However, in the last twenty years, there has been major advancements in lung cancer diagnosis, treatment and care. New imaging techniques have refined lung cancer staging, targeted agents may have prolonged survival but bring about new side effects and modern radiotherapy techniques produce better delivery of irradiation.

This study is an update review of EORTC QLQ-LC13 questionnaire, which was first published in 1994. The study followed phases I to III of the EORTC module development guidelines. Phase I generated quality of life issues, Phase II transformed the issues into questionnaire items. The questionnaire was validated in Phase III where patients were asked to rate the 48 questions in relevance, comprehensibility and acceptance.

The results show that 29 out of the 48 questions met the inclusion criteria. Subsequently, the newly named EORTC QLQ-LC29 questionnaire retained 12 out of 13 original items and then was supplemented with 17 items that assess treatment side effects of traditional and newer side effects.

308 patients participated in the study. “It is important to point out that the patients were an integral part of the study” says Dr Michael Koller, leading author of the study and Head of the Center for Clinical Studies at Regensburg University Hospital. “The patients helped to define the scope of the new module”.

“This step is a major move forward for the update of the new EORTC lung cancer measure, whereby we ensured that all current disease and treatment concerns of the patient were evaluated.” Says Dr Andrew Bottomley, Head of EORTC Quality of Life Department.

An international multicenter study is currently underway to fully validate the psychometric properties of LC-29.

(1) An international study to revise the EORTC questionnaire for assessing quality of life in lung cancer patients.

Koller M, Hjermstad MJ, Tomaszewski KA, Tomaszewska IM, Hornslien K, Harle A, Arraras JI, Morag O, Pompili C, Ioannidis G, Georgiou M, Navarra C, Chie WC, Johnson CD, Himpel A, Schulz C, Bohrer T, Janssens A, Kulis D, Bottomley A; EORTC Quality of Life Group; EORTC Lung Cancer Group; European Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Ann Oncol. 2017 Aug 22. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdx453. [Epub ahead of print]

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