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Support Care Cancer. 2012 Sep;20(9):2061-71. doi: 10.1007/s00520-011-1315-5. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Head-to-head comparisons of quality of life instruments for young adult survivors of childhood cancer.

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  • 1Department of Health Outcomes and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.



Few studies examine the relevance of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) instruments for young adult survivors of childhood cancer (YASCC). This study compared the psychometric properties of two survivor-specific instruments, the Quality of Life-Cancer Survivor (QOL-CS) and Quality of Life in Adult Cancer Survivor (QLACS).


Data from 151 YASCC who enrolled in cancer/tumor registries of two medical centers were used. We examined construct validity by conducting confirmatory factor analysis using indices of chi-square statistic, comparative fit index, and root mean square error of approximation. We examined convergent/discriminant validity by comparing Pearson's correlation coefficients of homogeneous (e.g., physical functioning and pain) of both instruments versus heterogeneous domains (e.g., physical and psychological functioning). We assessed known-groups validity by examining the extent to which HRQOL differed by late effects and comorbid conditions and calculated relative validity (RV) defined as contrasting F-statistics of individual domains to the domain with the lowest F-statistic. Superior known-groups validity is observed if a domain of one instrument demonstrates a higher RV than other domains of the instruments.


YASCC data cannot replicate the constructs both instruments intend to measure, suggesting poor construct validity. Correlations of between-homogeneous and between-heterogeneous domains of both instruments were not discernible, suggesting poor convergent/discriminant validity. Both instruments were equally able to differentiate HRQOL between YASCC with and without late effects and comorbid conditions, suggesting similar known-groups validity.


Neither instrument is superior. Item response theory is suggested to select high-quality items from different instruments to improve HRQOL measure for YASCC.

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