Journal of Neurology

, Volume 261, Issue 5, pp 894–904 | Cite as

Quality of life and brain tumors: what beyond the clinical burden?

  • Anna Rita Giovagnoli
  • Rute Flávia Meneses
  • Antonio Silvani
  • Ida Milanesi
  • Laura Fariselli
  • Andrea Salmaggi
  • Amerigo Boiardi
Original Communication


This study analyzed the subjective facets of quality of life (QoL) and their relation to the type of brain tumor (BT) and phase of disease. Two hundred and ninety-one patients with pinealoblastoma, medulloblastoma, low-grade glioma, anaplastic astrocytoma, or glioblastoma were evaluated. With respect to 110 healthy controls, patients in the phases of radiotherapy/chemotherapy, stable disease, or tumor recurrence were significantly more anxious and depressed compared with patients in the early postoperative period. All patients were impaired in mental flexibility and memory, with preservation of abstract reasoning. The Functional Living Index-Cancer (FLIC), previously validated in cancer and BT patients, yielded six subjective factors (disease perception, affective well-being, role and leisure, personal base, nausea, sharing). None of the FLIC factors were predicted by tumor type, which only related to the physical and cognitive performances and mood scores. Affective well-being, role and leisure, and sharing were predicted by the phase of disease. Personal base, including self-perception and confidence, was independent on tumor progression and treatment. To conclude, QoL encompasses different subjective aspects, which vary in relation to the phase of disease and clinical burden. However, some person-related facets appear independent on tumor progression and treatment, indicating individual resources. Knowing this may guide tailored interventions supporting QoL.


Brain tumor Quality of life Mood Cognition Physical performance 



The authors thank the participants of the study and the professionals from the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico C. Besta who contributed to diagnosis and treatment.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Ethical standard

The study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Rita Giovagnoli
    • 1
  • Rute Flávia Meneses
    • 2
  • Antonio Silvani
    • 3
  • Ida Milanesi
    • 4
  • Laura Fariselli
    • 4
  • Andrea Salmaggi
    • 3
  • Amerigo Boiardi
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cognitive Neurology and Rehabilitation, Unit of Neurology and Neuropathology, Department of Diagnosis and Applied TechnologyFondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo BestaMilanItaly
  2. 2.Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais-Fernando Pessoa UniversityPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Unit of Neurooncology, Department of Clinical NeurosciencesFondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo BestaMilanItaly
  4. 4.Unit of Radiotherapy, Department of NeurosurgeryFondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo BestaMilanItaly

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