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Medicina (Kaunas). 2012;48(11):588-94.

Evaluation of health-related quality of life in Lithuanian brain tumor patients using the EORTC brain cancer module.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eivenių 2, 50028 Kaunas, Lithuania.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is considered an important outcome measure in neuro-oncology. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the brain cancer-specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-BN20) of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) in Lithuanian brain tumor patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS. One hundred consecutive patients (71% of women; mean age, 58 ± 14 years) admitted for elective brain tumor surgery were evaluated for HRQoL using the QLQ-BN20, QLQ-C30 (a core EORTC questionnaire for cancer patients), and SF-36 scale; for motor dysfunction (clinical examination); for cognitive dysfunction (Mini-Mental State Examination); and for disability (Barthel Index). RESULTS. The QLQ-BN20 subscales had an adequate internal consistency (Cronbach α, 0.75-0.90). Motor dysfunction on neurological examination was associated with greater motor dysfunction on the QLQ-BN20; greater disability, with greater future uncertainty, motor dysfunction, communication deficits, headaches, seizures, drowsiness, itchy skin, weakness of legs, and poor bladder control on the QLQ-BN20; and cognitive dysfunction, with greater future uncertainty, visual deficits, motor dysfunction, communication deficits, headaches, drowsiness, and weakness of legs symptoms on the QLQ-BN20, suggesting an adequate clinical validity of the QLQ-BN20. A score for motor dysfunction on the QLQ-BN20 correlated with a score for motor dysfunction on the QLQ-C30 and SF-36 scales; a score for headache on the QLQ-BN20, with a score for pain on the QLQ-C30 and SF-36 scales; and a score for drowsiness symptoms on the QLQ-BN20, with a score for fatigue on the QLQ-C30. CONCLUSIONS. The Lithuanian version of the EORTC-QLQ-BN20 scale has acceptable psychometric properties and can be reliably used for the assessment of HRQoL in brain tumor patients.

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