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Eur J Haematol. 2009 Aug;83(2):139-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2009.01250.x. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Health related quality of life in a nationally representative sample of haematological patients.

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  • 1Department of Palliative Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen NV, Denmark.



Knowledge of health related quality of life of haematological patients is limited. This study aimed at investigating the prevalence and predictors of symptoms and problems in a representative sample of haematological patients in Denmark.


A random sample of patients with leukaemia, multiple myeloma and advanced lymphoma (n = 732) received the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality-of-life questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30). Mean scores were calculated. In addition, scores were dichotomised using two thresholds: patients reporting at least 'a little' of each EORTC QLQ-C30 symptom/problem were classified as having a 'symptom/problem', and patients reporting at least 'quite a bit' were classified as having a 'severe symptom/problem'. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify predictors.


In total, 470 (64%) patients participated. The most frequent symptoms/problems were fatigue (55%; severe 20%), reduced role function (49%; severe 23%), insomnia (46%; severe 15%), and pain (37%; severe 15%). Older patients and patients in active antineoplastic treatment had more symptoms and problems. There was only little evidence of social inequalities.


This is probably the first nationally representative study of symptoms and problems in haematological patients. These patients have symptoms/problems that deserve attention. Health related quality of life is an important issue in haematological malignancies.

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