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Eur J Cancer. 2004 Jan;40(2):187-97.

Methodological issues in assessing health-related quality of life of colorectal cancer patients in randomised controlled trials.

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  • 1European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC Data Center, Quality of Life Unit, Avenue E. Mounier, 83, 1200 Brussels, Belgium.


Although health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is increasingly reported as an important endpoint in cancer clinical trials, questions still remain about the quality of its reporting. The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of reporting of HRQOL in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of colorectal cancer (CRC). A systematic literature search from 1980 to March 2003 was undertaken on a number of databases. Identified eligible studies were selected and then evaluated on a broad set of HRQOL predetermined criteria by four reviewers. Thirty-one randomised controlled trials involving 9683 colorectal cancer patients were identified. Nearly all studies dealt with metastatic patients and principally compared different chemotherapy regimens. The HRQOL tool most often used was the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), which was used in 48% of the studies. Some methodological limitations were identified: 39% of the RCTs did not report HRQOL compliance at baseline and 52% did not give details on missing data. A rationale for using a specific HRQOL measure was given in only 10% of the studies. Whilst HRQOL assessment is a potential valuable source of information in understanding the impact of colorectal cancer, a number of methodological shortcomings have to be further addressed in future studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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