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Oncology (Williston Park). 1993 Dec;7(12):55-61; discussion 65-6, 69-70.

Quality of life dimensions that are most important to cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo 43699.


Despite the introduction of quality of life measurements into clinical trials during the past several years, there is uncertainty about how to translate quality of life information from the research setting to meaningful practice decisions. In part, this is due to the fact that physicians do not speak the same language as behavioral scientists and are not as comfortable in exploring social and emotional functioning as they are in inquiring about symptoms and other physical concerns. Until more information is available about which quality of life dimensions are of greatest concern to different patient cohorts and until reliable tools evolve to evaluate individual patient quality of life needs, it is likely that most physicians will rely on the unstructured patient interview to obtain quality of life information. As more is learned about the value patients place on specific quality of life dimensions, it will allow physicians to better address patients' symptoms, physical function, and psychosocial health concerns.

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