Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 19, Issue 11, pp 1753–1760

Minimal important differences for interpreting health-related quality of life scores from the EORTC QLQ-C30 in lung cancer patients participating in randomized controlled trials

  • John T. Maringwa
  • Chantal Quinten
  • Madeleine King
  • Jolie Ringash
  • David Osoba
  • Corneel Coens
  • Francesca Martinelli
  • Jurgen Vercauteren
  • Charles S. Cleeland
  • Henning Flechtner
  • Carolyn Gotay
  • Eva Greimel
  • Martin J. Taphoorn
  • Bryce B. Reeve
  • Joseph Schmucker-Von Koch
  • Joachim Weis
  • Egbert F. Smit
  • Jan P. van Meerbeeck
  • Andrew Bottomley
  • on behalf of the EORTC PROBE project and the Lung Cancer Group
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-010-1016-5

Cite this article as:
Maringwa, J.T., Quinten, C., King, M. et al. Support Care Cancer (2011) 19: 1753. doi:10.1007/s00520-010-1016-5

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to determine the smallest changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores in a subset of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) scales, which could be considered as clinically meaningful in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods

WHO performance status (PS) and weight change were used as clinical anchors to determine minimal important differences (MIDs) in HRQOL change scores (range, 0–100) in the EORTC QLQ-C30 scales. Selected distribution-based methods were used for comparison.

Findings

In a pooled dataset of 812 NSCLC patients undergoing treatment, the values determined to represent the MID depended on whether patients were improving or deteriorating. MID estimates for improvement (based on a one-category change in PS, 5 − <20% weight gain) were physical functioning (9, 5); role functioning (14, 7); social functioning (5, 7); global health status (9, 4); fatigue (14, 5); and pain (16, 2). The respective MID estimates for deterioration (based on PS, weight loss) were physical (4, 6); role (5, 5); social (7, 9); global health status (4, 4); fatigue (6, 11); and pain (3, 7).

Interpretation

Based on the selected QLQ-C30 scales, the MID may depend upon whether the patients’ PS is improving or worsening, but our results are not definitive. The MID estimates for the specified scales can help clinicians and researchers evaluate the significance of changes in HRQOL and assess the value of a health care intervention or compare treatments. The estimates also can be useful in determining sample sizes in the design of future clinical trials.

Keywords

Anchoring EORTC QLQ-C30 Health-related quality of life Minimal important difference 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • John T. Maringwa
    • 1
  • Chantal Quinten
    • 1
  • Madeleine King
    • 2
  • Jolie Ringash
    • 3
  • David Osoba
    • 4
  • Corneel Coens
    • 1
  • Francesca Martinelli
    • 1
  • Jurgen Vercauteren
    • 1
  • Charles S. Cleeland
    • 5
  • Henning Flechtner
    • 6
  • Carolyn Gotay
    • 7
  • Eva Greimel
    • 8
  • Martin J. Taphoorn
    • 9
    • 15
  • Bryce B. Reeve
    • 10
  • Joseph Schmucker-Von Koch
    • 11
  • Joachim Weis
    • 12
  • Egbert F. Smit
    • 13
  • Jan P. van Meerbeeck
    • 14
  • Andrew Bottomley
    • 1
  • on behalf of the EORTC PROBE project and the Lung Cancer Group
  1. 1.Quality of Life DepartmentEORTCBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Psycho-oncology Co-operative Research GroupUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.The Princess Margaret HospitalUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Quality of Life ConsultingVancouverCanada
  5. 5.Department of Symptom ResearchUniversity of TexasHoustonUSA
  6. 6.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  7. 7.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  8. 8.Obstetrics and GynecologyMedical University GrazGrazAustria
  9. 9.VU Medical CenterAmsterdamNetherlands
  10. 10.Division of Cancer Control and Population ScienceNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  11. 11.Medical EthicsUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  12. 12.Tumor Biology CenterUniversity FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  13. 13.Department of Pulmonary DiseasesVrije Universiteit VUMCAmsterdamNetherlands
  14. 14.Department of Respiratory MedicineGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium
  15. 15.Medical Center HaaglandenThe HagueNetherlands

Personalised recommendations