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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 Dec;34(6):628-38. Epub 2007 Aug 20.

Validation of single-item linear analog scale assessment of quality of life in neuro-oncology patients.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona 85259, USA.


Assessment of patient quality of life (QOL) requires balancing the details provided by multi-item assessments with the reduced burden of single-item assessments. In this project, we investigated the psychometric properties of single-item Linear Analog Scale Assessments (LASAs) for patients with newly diagnosed high-grade gliomas. Measures included QOL LASAs (overall, physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual), Symptom Distress Scale (SDS), Profile of Mood States (POMS; overall, confusion, fatigue), and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br; overall, brain, physical, emotional). Associations of LASA measures with SDS, POMS, and FACT-Br domains and with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance score (PS) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were assessed. Repeated measures ANOVA models compared the change over time of LASAs and SDS, POMS, and FACT-Br. Two hundred five patients completed the assessments across three time points. To allow comparison across measures, all scores were converted to a scale of 0-100, with higher scores indicating better QOL. LASA mean scores ranged from 60 to 78; SDS, POMS, and FACT-Br ranged from 62 to 81. FACT-Br physical (P<0.001) and POMS fatigue subscale (P=0.005) decreased over time, as did LASA physical (P=0.08). LASA scales were strongly associated with corresponding scales on SDS, POMS, and FACT-Br (0.44<rho<0.65; P<0.001). LASA was negatively associated with PS and positively with MMSE, with associations similar in magnitude to the other QOL and psychosocial measures. The data suggest that the single-item LASA scales are valid for assessing QOL of cancer patients and are an appropriate alternative when a shorter instrument is warranted.

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