The development of a cancer-specific quality of life scale

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Mintz, Carey
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Despite a proliferation of instruments which purport to measure quality of life, the majority of these lack psychometric validity, or fail to address issues specific to cancer patients (such as the side effects of chemotherapy). In 1993 the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer proposed a multidimensional measure of cancer-specific quality of life, the EORTC QLQ-C30 in order to meet this need (Aaronson, et al., 1993). As this scale had some psychometric difficulties, it was used as the basis for a new quality of life measure. This research project involved the psychometric validation of this new scale, with the expectation that it would demonstrate greater psychometric validity than the original measure. Although the new measure did allow for a global quality of life score to be calculated (an improvement over the EORTC QLQ-C30) which demonstrated acceptable concurrent validity, it did not resolve the original scale's difficulties with reliability, nor did all of the individual domain subscales demonstrate acceptable concurrent validity. Thus, although the new measure improved upon the original version of the EORTC QLQ-C30, it has yet to meet the psychometric standards required for research purposes. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)