, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1-14

Oncologists' use of quality of life information: Results of a survey of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group physicians

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Purpose: Objectives of this study were to obtain data from Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) oncologists regarding their views on quality of life (QOL) information; perform psychometric testing on the MD-QOL questionnaire, develop a model to describe oncologists' willingness to use QOL information and propose data-based interventions to facilitate use of QOL information in clinical decision-making. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire, MD-QOL, designed to assess physician perspective on QOL information was mailed to a random sample of 500 oncologists, members of ECOG; 271 responded. Results: Oncologists' attitude, current behaviour, knowledge of QOL data, and reported willingness to use QOL can be measured using MD-QOL. The attitude, behaviour and willingness scales have high internal consistency. Physician attitude and behaviour account for 59% of the variance in the willingness to use QOL information. Demographic variables influencing physician responses were their primary income source and exposure to trials with a QOL component. Conclusions: This report of ECOG oncologists' views on QOL information suggests a model to describe relationship between physician willingness to use QOL information on the basis of their attitude and behaviour. Data-based interventions are proposed to influence the key variables and thus facilitate the incorporation of QOL data in clinical practice.