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Respir Med. 2008 Oct;102(10):1460-7. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2008.04.002. Epub 2008 Jun 30.

Health related quality of life, mood disorders and coping abilities in an unselected sample of patients with primary lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Sorlandet Hospital HF, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway.



Health related quality of life (HRQL), mood disorders and coping abilities have previously not been evaluated in an unselected sample of patients with primary lung cancer.


A prospective study was performed on all patients diagnosed with primary lung cancer in Southern Norway from 2002 to 2005. HRQL was assessed according to EORTC, anxiety and depression according to HAD and coping ability according to SoC.


Fatigue and sore mouth were more pronounced in SCLC than in NSCLC. Besides this, there were no difference in EORTC scores between histological groups. Non-responders to EORTC were older and more than twice as many had poor performance status compared to those answering. According to HAD, 17% of patients scored compatible with anxiety and 14% with depression, and one in four consistent with manifest anxiety and/or depression. Mean SoC score was 58.3. A HAD score compatible with anxiety or depression was associated with considerably worse EORTC function scores. A reduced coping ability according to SoC was only weakly associated with anxiety and depression. These scores are poorer than that recorded in selected EORTC databases from chemotherapy and radiotherapy studies.


In this real-life survey on unselected patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer, mean HRQL scores were poorer than reference values from previous, treatment-based studies, documenting a higher burden of illness in lung cancer than previously documented. Anxiety and depression are common in lung cancer and are clearly related to reduced quality of life. From the clinical point of view, an increased focus on information when lung cancer is diagnosed, seems justified, as well as specific attention for patients with lung cancer with accompanying mood disorders.

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