Patients' and Health Care Providers' Evaluation of Quality of Life Issues in Advanced Cancer Using Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Palliative Care Module (FACIT-Pal) Scale

Luluel Khan, Liang Zeng, David Cella, Nemica Thavarajah, Emily Chen, Liying Zhang, Margaret Bennett, Kenneth Peckham, Sandra De Costa, Jennifer L. Beaumont, May Tsao, Cyril Danjoux, Elizabeth Barnes, Arjun Sahgal, Edward Chow


Background: To examine the agreement of Health Care Providers (HCPs) and patients` evaluation of quality of life on the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness therapy - Palliative care module (FACIT-Pal) scale.

Methods: Sixty advanced cancer patients and fifty-six health care providers involved in their care at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre completed a modified version of the FACIT- Pal. In the survey, patients and HCPs indicated the 10 top issues affecting the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer most profoundly. The percentage of participants selecting each item as one of their 10 most relevant items was calculated in HCPs and patients.

Results: There were differences in relative rankings of QOL issues among patients and HCPs. Among the top 10 items which were identified from both patients and HCPs, there were differences in the rankings. Patients ranked emotional support from family (40.9%) as most important followed by pain (38.6%), lack of energy (31.8%) and able to enjoy life (29.6%). HCPs ranked in the following order: pain (73.2%), lack of energy (63.4%), nausea (51.2%) and dyspnea (51.2%) whereas patients rated nausea at 18.2 % and dyspnea at 9.09%.

Conclusion: There is a discrepancy between scores of patients and HCPs as they may prioritize differently. HCPs tended to put more emphasis on physical symptoms, whereas patients had emotional and global issues as priorities.

World J Oncol. 2012;3(5):210-216


Advanced cancer patients; Quality of life; FACIT-pal; Health care professional

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