, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 1007-1023

Assessing Quality of Life in Adult Cancer Survivors (QLACS)

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Abstract

This article describes development of a quality of life measure designed to assess issues relevant to long-term cancer survivors. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 58 long-term cancer survivors to identify domains most relevant to long-term survivors (≥ 5 years post-diagnosis). Self-report items were developed from these interviews and administered to a second sample of 242 long-term survivors. Domains and items were selected from the item pool by a combination of factor analysis and criterion-based item selection. Five cancer-specific domains were identified (appearance concerns, financial problems, distress over recurrence, family-related distress, and benefits of cancer) along with seven generic QOL domains (negative feelings, positive feelings, cognitive problems, sexual problems, physical pain, fatigue, and social avoidance). Cronbach’s α was 0.72 or greater for each domain. Correlations between domain scores and criterion measures were 0.72 or higher in all but one generic domain (social avoidance), but somewhat lower on cancer-specific domains. The new multidimensional measure has good internal consistency and validity and is appropriate for comparisons between cancer and non-cancer populations, as well as long-term follow-up of cancer patients.