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Quality of Life Defined by Lung Cancer Patients

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All Quality of Life studies show that the higher the Quality of Life, the Longer the Survival Rate, but most of these studies also define Quality of Life based primarily on physical factors rather than psychosocial factors (See http://www.lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?t=37598)

A lung cancer study published at the June 2008 ASCO Annual Meeting was based on a survey of what the patients themselves considered to be the most important factors. At the top of the patients' list (immediately following "general" (undefined) Quality of Life entry) was Maintaining Independence and Not Being a Burden to Others. Other top factors were: Perform normal activities; Able to sleep; Having pain; Being fatigued; Having shortness of breath; and Being depressed.

Abstract: Determining issues of importance for patients with lung cancer: Results of a web-based study in 660 patients with lung cancer to enhance the content validity of quality of life (QL) instruments.

Sub-category: Quality-of-Life Management. Category: Patient Care.

Meeting: 2008 ASCO Annual Meeting. Abstract No: 20518. Citation: J Clin Oncol 26: 2008 (May 20 suppl; abstr 20518) Author(s): B. J. Davis, R. J. Gralla, P. J. Hollen, J. A. Petersen, R. B. Montgomery.

Background: Identifying key issues for patients with cancer is central to assessing QL and patient reported outcomes (PROs), which aids in evaluating effectiveness of treatment programs for those with the disease. The first aim of this study was to enhance the content validity for the PRO instrument, the LCSS, by enlarging the patient panel (originally 121) with an additional 660 patients. These data can also be useful for any QL or symptom scale as well as helping to ascertain that programs address the needs expressed by patients.

Methods: We used the established patient base of the web-based NexCura patient information resource to survey registered patients with lung cancer. Demographic stratifications included: stage of disease (metastatic 27%, locally advanced 37%, NED 36%); gender (55% women); KPS (>80 = 46%, 70 = 28%, 60 = 16%); median age 62; NSCLC = 82%, SCLC = 18%; current treatment. 660 patients completed the anonymous web-conducted survey. Patients were asked to rank 20 issues on a 5-point scale assessing the importance of each item. Issues included general, lung-specific, psychosocial, spiritual and summative items.

Results: The 9 highest ranked items are seen below; results are described by percent of patients choosing the top category (very important) and the top 2 rating categories of importance.

Conclusions: Ratings by disease subsets (such as NED or M1 extent; by gender; by lung cancer type) were fairly similar to results found for the whole group, with the exception of the pain item being ranked second in those with stage IV extent. These results represent the largest survey of patient concerns in lung cancer and support using computer-assisted survey technology to assess such information in all malignancies to obtain patient input rapidly from large patient samples. These results give strong support for content validity for the LCSS and should be helpful in a variety of assessments in patients with lung cancer.

Very Important/Very Important + Important

Good QL 80%/98%

Maintaining independence 71%/97%

Being a burden to others 65%/89%

Perform normal activities 64%/96%

Able to sleep 63%/94%

Having pain 59%/86%

Being fatigued 58%/93%

Having shortness of breath 58%/89%

Being depressed 47%/82%

Lower ranked items (not shown): sexuality, GU, and spiritual issues; other symptoms

© 2005-2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.

Source: http://www.asco.org/ASCO/Abstracts+%26+Virtual+Meeting/Abstracts?&vmview=abst_detail_view&confID=55&abstractID=33901

Submitted by Carole

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