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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1995 Nov 1;33(4):901-6.

RTOG's first quality of life study--RTOG 90-20: a phase II trial of external beam radiation with etanidazole for locally advanced prostate cancer.

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  • 1Fox Chase Cancer Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To assess institutional and patient compliance with quality of life (QL) instruments in RTOG clinical trials. To assess feasibility of using the Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy (FACT), Sexual Adjustment Questionnaire (SAQ), and Changes in Urinary Function (CUF) QL instruments in a prostate clinical trial and to compare patient self-report of symptoms to medical professional ratings of the same symptoms using the RTOG acute toxicity rating scales.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Three self-assessment QL instruments, the FACT, the SAQ, and CUF, were to be administered to patients on a Phase II locally advanced prostate trial at specified time points. Specific instructions for both data managers and for patients on when, how, and why to fill out the questionnaires were included.

RESULTS:

Sixty-seven percent (24 out of 36) of patients accrued to RTOG 90-20 completed both the initial FACT and SAQ. Eighty-five percent completed FACT at end of RT and 73% at 3 months. Eighty-one percent completed SAQ at end of treatment, while 69% completed this form at 3 months. Compliance drops off thereafter. Seventy-five percent of patients who had their symptom of dysuria rated by a medical professional as 0 on the RTOG toxicity rating scale self-reported the same. Only 56% of patient self-reports on FACT regarding diarrhea were in agreement with the medical professional's RTOG rating of 0 toxicity. The measures were determined to be in moderate agreement when the patient evaluated a symptom as a 1 on the FACT and the medical professional rated the same symptom as a 0 on the RTOG toxicity rating scale. There was moderate agreement in 13% of patients with dysuria and 31% of patients with diarrhea. Low agreement occurred when the patient evaluated a symptom as a 2 or 3 on the FACT and the medical professional rated the same symptom as a 0 on the RTOG scale. Low agreement occurred in 13% of both patients reporting dysuria and diarrhea. Differences between how medical professionals and patients were able to rate erectile function make direct comparisons difficult, but the trend towards significant discrepancies is still noteworthy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Quality of life assessments are necessary and attainable in RTOG clinical trials. Compliance rates for both institutional and patient participation were acceptable at initial and 3 month follow-up. Reasons for noncompliance were predominantly institution related and not patient related. Strategies to address both institution and patient compliance have been developed and implemented within the RTOG. Serious disagreement between patient self-reports of symptoms on the FACT QL scale and medical professional ratings on the RTOG acute toxicity rating scales of the same symptoms was 13% at 3 months follow-up. This warrants continued use of QL self-assessments in clinical trials.

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PMID:
7591900
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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