Special Article

Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 988-998

The clinical significance of quality of life assessments in oncology: a summary for clinicians

  • Jeff A. SloanAffiliated withDepartment of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation Email author 
  • , Marlene H. FrostAffiliated withWomen’s Cancer Program, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation
  • , Rick BerzonAffiliated withCorporate Health Economics and Market Access, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated
  • , Amylou DueckAffiliated withDepartment of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation
  • , Gordon GuyattAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University and Health Sciences Center
  • , Carol MoinpourAffiliated withSouthwest Oncology Group Statistical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • , Mirjam SprangersAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Psychology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam
  • , Carol FerransAffiliated withCollege of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • , David CellaAffiliated withCenter on Outcomes, Research and Education, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare and Northwestern University
    • , Clinical Significance Consensus Meeting Group

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Abstract

Background

A series of six manuscripts with an introduction appeared in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, based upon the collective effort of 30 individuals with an interest and expertise in assessing the clinical significance of quality of life (QOL) assessments. The series of manuscripts described the state of the science of QOL assessments in oncology clinical research and practice and included extensive literature and theoretical justification for the continued inclusion of QOL in oncology clinical research and practice.

Objectives

The purpose of this paper is to produce a summary of these articles and to supplement these works with additional information that was gleaned from subsequent meetings and discussions of this material. The primary aim of this paper is to present a cogent and concise description for clinicians to facilitate the incorporation of QOL assessments into oncology clinical research and practice. The theoretical discussion is supplemented with an example of how the various ideas can be operationalized in an oncology clinical trial.

Keywords

QOL Oncology Cancer