Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 2709–2718 | Cite as

Quality of life and anorexia/cachexia in lung cancer: validation of the Spanish version of the FAACT instrument

  • Oscar Arrieta
  • Julissa Luvián-Morales
  • Jenny G. Turcott
  • Luis F. Oñate-Ocaña



The cancer anorexia–cachexia syndrome (CACS) is highly prevalent in lung cancer (LC) patients (57–61%), and represents the direct cause of death in 20% of cases. Accurately quantifying CACS has been a challenging issue; consequently, this study presents the clinical validation of the Spanish version of the Functional Assessment of Anorexia–Cachexia Therapy (FAACT) scale in LC patients from Latin America.


The Spanish version of the FAACT and the Mexican-Spanish version of the EORTC-QLQ-C30 instruments were applied to a cohort of patients with LC at the National Cancer Institute of Mexico. Reliability and validity tests were performed to assess the psychometric properties of the scales, and clinical validation was assessed considering the association of scales with subjective and objective clinical data.


Two hundred patients were included. Questionnaire compliance rates were high (100%) and the instrument was well accepted in all cases; internal consistency tests demonstrated good convergent and divergent validity of the scale structure. Cronbach’s α coefficient for three out of five basic multi-item scales was > 0.7 (0.55–0.86). FAACT scales presented significant associations with clinical parameters, including biochemical and nutritional variables (i.e., energy intake, p = 0.002), as well as strongly correlated with the appetite loss subscale of the QLQ-C30 questionnaire (r = − 0.624). Physical well-being (p < 0.0009), functional well-being (p = 0.004), anorexia/cachexia scale (p = 0.029), and FAACT total scores (p = 0.0009) were strongly associated to overall survival.


The Spanish version of the FAACT questionnaire is reliable and valid for the assessment of health-related quality of life and CACS in LC patients and can be used in clinical trials.


Malnutrition Anorexia Cachexia CACS Lung cancer Quality of life 



The authors certify that they comply with the ethical guidelines for authorship and publishing of the Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Oscar Arrieta has received payment for lectures from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Boehringer-Ingelheim, and Roche. Julissa Luvian-Morales declares no conflict of interest. Jenny G. Turcott declares no conflict of interest. Luis F. Oñate-Ocaña declares no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oscar Arrieta
    • 1
  • Julissa Luvián-Morales
    • 1
  • Jenny G. Turcott
    • 1
  • Luis F. Oñate-Ocaña
    • 2
  1. 1.Thoracic Oncology UnitInstituto Nacional de Cancerología (INCan)Mexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Clinical Research DivisionInstituto Nacional de Cancerología de México (INCan)Mexico CityMexico

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