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Oncology (Williston Park). 1995 Nov;9(11 Suppl):47-60.

Measuring quality of life: 1995 update.

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Department of Psychology and Social Sciences, Rush-Presbyterian -St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Often, new treatments for cancer are evaluated solely on the basis of increased survival, depriving us of valuable information about other benefits and drawbacks of these treatments. It is important to raise the question of the quality of life as a companion to the question of quantity of life. The trade-off is not always between toxicity vs survival time; sometimes a treatment, however toxic, affords benefit not by virtue of increasing survival, but by palliation of tumor-induced pain or obstruction. Included in this paper is a table that reviews many available quality of life measures that have been designed for, or frequently used with, people with cancer. Proper selection of measures and supplementary questions is an important first step toward a successful evaluation of quality of life. Samples of many of these scales are included in the appendix.

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