Quality of Life Assessment in Gynaecological Cancer Patients

Jonathan Carter, Andrew Saltzman, Dwight Chen, Pamela Carney, Peter Johnson, Ellen Hartenbach, Jeffrey Fowler, Linda F Carson, Leo Twiggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


EDITORIAL COMMENT: Quality of life assessment is becoming more and more important in gynaecological oncology. At present, quality of life issues are not commonly considered when treatment is assessed. With new treatments costing more and more it is likely that quality of life assessment will be required in the future for all trials, and for the justification of various ongoing treatments in cancer patients Although the numbers in this paper are small and provide only limited information in the way of results, it is a step in the right direction and will serve to inform, remind or encourage readers to consider adopting or developing similar assessment tools relevant to Australia. Summary: The feasibility of quality of life (QOL) assessment in a heterogeneous group of gynaecological cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy was determined. All new patients being prescribed cytotoxic chemotherapy were asked to complete a modified QOL assessment tool. The elected assessment tool is the Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy‐General (FACT‐G) tool, comprising 33 questions under 5 broad categories: physical well‐being, social well‐being, relationship with doctor, emotional well‐being and functional well‐being. Raw scores were calculated and then transformed to a 0–100 scale. Twenty eight patients received a total of 75 treatment cycles of chemotherapy. Four patients were not offered the assessment due to language difficulties. All patients offered the test satisfactorily completed the test to allow statistical analysis. The average number of chemotherapy courses received was 2.5 (range: 1–6). Of a total possible 2,475 study items (33 items × 75 cycles), 240 items were not answered (10%). Of these 240 unanswered items, 2 items (#14 and #15) comprised 38%. The mean transformed score for physical well‐being was 32 (SE 2.5), for social well‐being the mean transformed score was 50 (SE 1.7), relationship with doctor 86 (SE 2.4), emotional well‐being 41 (SE 2) and functional well‐being was 54 (SE 2.6). The assessment of QOL indices in gynaecological cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is feasible. Further research needs to determine the optimal QOL tool for this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-297
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1995


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