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Support Care Cancer. 2016 Jan;24(1):437-45. doi: 10.1007/s00520-015-2821-7. Epub 2015 Jun 23.

Using a personalized measure (Patient Generated Index (PGI)) to identify what matters to people with cancer.

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School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, McGill University, Royal Victoria Hospital Site, Ross Pavilion R4.29, 687, Pine Ave W., Montreal, QC, H3A 1A1, Canada.
Département de Médecine Familiale et de Médecine d'Urgence, Centre de Recherche sur le Cancer, Universite Laval, Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec, 9 rue McMahon, Local 1899-6, Québec, QC, G1R 2J6, Canada.
School of Rehabilitation Sciences, McGill University, 3654 Prom Sir-William-Osler, Montréal, Québec, H3G 1Y5, Canada.
Division of Clinical Epidemiology, McGill University Health Center, Ross Pavilion R4.29, Royal Victoria Hospital Site, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1A1, Canada.



Patient Generated Index (PGI) is designed to both ask and document quality of life (QOL) concerns. Its validity with respect to standard QOL measures has not been fully established for advanced cancer when QOL concerns predominate. The specific objective of this study is to identify, for people with advanced cancer, similarities and differences in ratings of global QOL between personalized and standard measures.


A total of 192 patients completed five QOL measures at study entry: PGI, generic measures (SF-6D, EQ-5D), and cancer-specific measures of QOL (McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire and Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scale). Comparisons among total scores were compared using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE).


Patients voiced 114 areas of QOL concerns by the PGI with the top three being fatigue, sleep, and pain (39.2, 22.6, and 21.6%, respectively). PGI total QOL score was 25 to 30 percentage points lower than those documented by the other measures, particularly when QOL was poor. Correlations between PGI and other measures were low.


PGI allowed patients to express a wide range of QOL concerns, many that were not assessed by other QOL measures. If only one QOL measure is to be included, either in a clinical setting or for research, the PGI would satisfy many of the criteria for "best choice." PGI could be considered a cancer-specific QOL measure.


This study provides evidence that the PGI would be a good measure for patients and clinicians to use together to identify areas of concern that require attention and monitor changing needs.


Cancer-specific measure; Generic measure; Personalized measure; Quality of life; The Patient Generated Index

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