Health Care Professionals' Evaluation of Quality of Life Issues in Patients With Brain Metastases

Natalie Lauzon, Gillian Bedard, Liying Zhang, Arjun Sahgal, Liang Zheng, Kaitlin Koo, Edward Chow


Background: The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Brain (FACT-Br) is a brain specific Quality of life (QOL) tool used for patients in the primary and metastatic cancer population. The purpose of this report is to evaluate the QOL issues health care professionals (HCPs) find most important when caring for brain metastases patients.

Methods: HCPs were asked to rate whether each of the 23 FACT-Br subscale items were relevant to patients or not. In the survey, HCPs indicated the 5 to 10 top issues affecting the QOL of patients with brain metastases. Demographic information such as gender, years of experience, and health care specialty were recorded.

Results: A total of 46 HCPs participated in the study, 89% of HCPs ranked the need for help in caring for themselves as the most relevant item for patients with brain metastases. Other highly relevant items included the concern of getting headaches (81%) and weakness in arms or legs (78%). The lowest rated items included the ability to put thoughts together (8%), ability to write as they used to (11%) and also the ability to read as they used to (14%).

Conclusion: It is very important to determine the issues that HCPs think are most important to patients in an attempt to harmonize these with those of patients. Future studies should compare the items that HCPs rate as most relevant to those that patients rate to ensure agreeability.

World J Oncol. 2012;3(6):257-263


Brain metastases; Health care professionals; Oncology; FACT-Br

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