Evaluation of the Quality of Life in Adult Cancer Survivors (QLACS) scale for early post-treatment breast cancer survivors
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- Sohl, S.J., Levine, B. & Avis, N.E. Qual Life Res (2015) 24: 205. doi:10.1007/s11136-014-0749-x
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The end of primary treatment for cancer patients is increasingly recognized as an important time of adjustment that may impact quality of life (QoL). A psychometrically sound QoL instrument that assesses the mix of acute and longer-term concerns present during this unique time has not yet been identified. This article evaluates the Quality of Life in Adult Cancer Survivors (QLACS) scale, originally developed for long-term (>5 years) cancer survivors, as an appropriate QoL measure for this transition period.
Psychometric properties of the QLACS were evaluated in a sample of post-treatment breast cancer survivors 18–24 months post-diagnosis. This observational study consisted of women (n = 552) aged 25 years and older (mean = 55.4 years) who were diagnosed with stage I, II, or III breast cancer. The 47 items of the QLACS comprise 12 domains: seven domains are generic, and five are cancer specific.
The QLACS demonstrated adequate internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha for the 12 domains ranged from 0.79 to 0.91) and good convergent and divergent validity (assessed by comparison with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy and other measures).
The QLACS appears to be consistent with other widely accepted measures in capturing QoL, while also allowing for more inclusive measurement of specific issues relevant to post-treatment cancer survivors. These data, in addition to previous data supporting use of the QLACS across different cancer sites, suggest that the QLACS is a promising comprehensive QoL measure appropriate for breast cancer survivors transitioning off active treatment.