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Qual Life Res. 2010 Aug;19(6):837-45. doi: 10.1007/s11136-010-9636-2. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

Needs assessments can identify scores on HRQOL questionnaires that represent problems for patients: an illustration with the Supportive Care Needs Survey and the QLQ-C30.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 624 N Broadway, Room 657, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. csnyder@jhsph.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

A barrier to using HRQOL questionnaires for individual patient management is knowing what score represents a problem deserving attention. We explored using needs assessments to identify HRQOL scores associated with patient-reported unmet needs.

METHODS:

This cross-sectional study included 117 cancer patients (mean age 61 years; 51% men; 77% white) who completed the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) and EORTC QLQ-C30. SCNS scores were dichotomized as "no unmet need" versus "some unmet need" and served as an external criterion for identifying problem scores. We evaluated the discriminative ability of QLQ-C30 scores using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Domains with an area under the ROC curve (AUC) >or= .70 were examined further to determine how well QLQ-C30 scores predicted presence/absence of unmet need.

RESULTS:

We found AUCs >or= .70 for 6 of 14 EORTC domains: physical, emotional, role, global QOL, pain, fatigue. All 6 domains had sensitivity >or= .85 and specificity >or= .50. EORTC domains that closely matched the content of SCNS item(s) were more likely to have AUCs >or= .70. The appropriate cut-off depends on the relative importance of false positives and false negatives.

CONCLUSIONS:

Needs assessments can identify HRQOL scores requiring clinicians' attention. Future research should confirm these findings using other HRQOL questionnaires and needs assessments.

PMID:
20340048
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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