Advance directives (ADs) allow individuals to legally determine their preferences for end-of-life (EOL) medical treatment and designate a health-care proxy to act on their behalf prior to losing the cognitive ability to make informed decisions for themselves. An interprofessional group of researchers (law, nursing, medicine, and social work) conducted an exploratory study to identify the differences in quality-of-life (QOL) language found within the AD state statutes from 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Data were coded using constant comparative analysis. Identified concepts were grouped into 2 focus areas for EOL discussions: communication/awareness of surroundings and activities of daily living. Language regarding communication/awareness of surroundings was present in the half of the statutes. Activities of daily living were addressed in only 18% of the statutes. Only 3 states (Arkansas, Nevada, and Tennessee) specifically addressed QOL. Patients are best served when professionals, regardless of discipline, can share and transform knowledge for patients in times of crisis and loss in ways that are empathetic and precise. Interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) comprises multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds working together with patients, families, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care. One of the major competencies of IPCP encompasses values and ethics. Interprofessional collaborative practice is offered as the means to deliver person-centered value-based care when facilitating these crucial dialogs and making recommendations for change.
INTRODUCTION: While spirituality and quality of life (QOL) are essential components of end-of-life (EOL) care, limited studies have examined these constructs for indigenous peoples. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to examine the state of the science regarding spirituality and QOL at EOL for indigenous people, particularly Native Americans.
METHOD: The Arksey and O'Malley (2005) framework guided this scoping review, which examined 30 articles that included qualitative and quantitative studies, commentary papers, and reviews.
RESULTS: The findings identified five spiritual dimensions: the life and death journey, a belief in spirits, tribally grounded traditions, dominant cultural religion influences, and a family focus. QOL indicators included survivorship, optimization of holistic health, communication, and access to appropriate resources. Death rituals were important EOL elements.
DISCUSSION: Given the importance of spirituality to QOL for indigenous people, clinicians must be knowledgeable and responsive to indigenous spiritual needs to promote QOL at EOL.
The prescription of chemotherapy during the last weeks of a patient's life is a recognised criterion of decreasing quality of life but also survival. Targeted therapies have a particular efficiency and tolerance profile raising the question of their use in a palliative setting. Two patients were treated for a melanoma, at terminal stage, with poor efficiency of the symptomatic treatments. We introduced targeted therapies, which was previous treatments used in both patients.The evolution and benefits of the treatment was very different in our two patients and make us discuss the interest of targeted therapies in an end-of-life context and propose criteria for their maintenance or introduction in this indication. This discussion requires close collaboration between oncologists and palliative physicians and a very clear information given to patients and their relatives.
Objectives: The choice of drug treatment in advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) continues to be a challenge regarding efficacy, quality of life (QoL) and toxicity. Unlike other cancer types, where integrating patient-reported outcomes (PRO) has proven to be beneficial for QoL, there is no such evidence in patients with STS as of now. The YonLife trial aimed to explore the effect of a tailored multistep intervention on QoL, symptoms and survival in patients with advanced STS undergoing treatment with trabectedin as well as identifying predictors of QoL.
Design: YonLife is a cluster-randomised, open-label, proof-of-concept study. The intervention incorporates electronic PRO assessment, a case vignette and expert-consented treatment recommendations.
Participants: Six hospitals were randomised to the control arm (CA) or interventional arm (IA). Seventy-nine patients were included of whom 40 were analysed as per-protocol analysis set.
Primary and secondary outcome measures: The primary end point was the change of Functional Assessment for Cancer Therapy (FACT-G) total score after 9 weeks. Secondary outcomes included QoL (FACT-G subscales), anorexia and cachexia (Functional Assessment of Anorexia/Cachexia Therapy (FAACT)), symptoms (MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI)), anxiety and depression (HADS), pain intensity and interference (Brief Pain Inventory (BPI)) and survival assessment.
Results: After 9 weeks of treatment, QoL declined less in the IA ( FACT-G total score: -2.4, 95% CI: -9.2 to 4.5) as compared with CA ( FACT-G total score: -3.9; 95% CI:-11.3 to 3.5; p=0.765). In almost all FACT-G subscales, average declines were lower in IA, but without reaching statistical significance. Smaller adverse trends between arms were observed for MDASI, FAACT, HADS and BPI scales. These trends failed to reach statistical significance. Overall mean survival was longer in IA (648 days) than in CA (389 days, p=0.110). QoL was predicted by symptom severity, symptom interference, depression and anxiety.
Conclusion: Our data suggest a potentially favourable effect of an electronic patient-reported outcomes based intervention on QoL that needs to be reappraised in confirmatory studies.
BACKGROUND: Few studies evaluated whether health care professionals accurately assess several symptoms for patients with cancer in palliative care units. We determined the agreement level for several symptoms related to quality of life (QOL) between patient-reported QOL assessment and health care professional-assessed symptoms based on the Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS).
METHOD: An observational study was performed with terminally ill patients with cancer hospitalized in the palliative care unit between June 2018 and December 2019. Patients and health care professionals independently assessed 7 symptoms at the time of hospitalization and after 1 week. Patients completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL). In examining the proportions of exact agreement, "exact agreement" referred to the pairs of the scores (QLQ-C15-PAL vs STAS) being (1 vs 0), (2 vs 1), (3 vs 2 or 3), or (4 vs 4). The relationships of physical functioning between QLQ-C15-PAL and Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) were examined.
RESULTS: Of 130 patients, approximately 60% had PPS scores from 40 to 60. The highest mean score on QLQ-C15-PAL was for fatigue (63.8). The exact agreement on symptoms between patients and health care professionals ranged from 15.4% (fatigue) to 57.7% (nausea and vomiting). The mean of the transformed QLQ-C15-PAL and proportions of exact agreement were negatively correlated (R2 = 0.949, P < .05). The physical function scores in QLQ-C15-PAL for each PPS group showed no differences.
CONCLUSION: We expect patient-reported outcomes including QLQ-C15-PAL to be added to health care professionals' assessment of serious symptoms such as fatigue in terminally ill patients with cancer.
Background: Palliative care is a modality of treatment that addresses physical, psychological and spiritual symptoms. Dignity therapy, a form of psychotherapy, was developed by Professor Harvey Chochinov, MD in 2005.The aim of the study was to assess the effect of one session of dignity therapy on quality of life in advanced cancer patients.
Methods: This was a randomized control trial of 144 patients (72 in each arm) randomized into group 1 (intervention arm) and group 2 (control arm). Baseline ESAS scores were determined in both arms following which group 1 received Dignity therapy while Group 2 received usual care only. Data collected was presented as printed (Legacy) documents to group 1 participants. These documents were a summary of previous discussions held. Post intervention ESAS scores were obtained in both groups after 6 weeks. Analysis was based on the intention to treat principle and descriptive statistics computed. The main outcome was symptom distress scores on the ESAS (summated out of 100 and symptom specific scores out of 10). The student T-test was used to test for difference in ESAS scores at follow up and graphs were computed for common cancers and comorbidities.
Results: Of the 144 (72 patients in each arm) patients randomized, 70% were female while 30% were male with a mean age of 50 years. At 6 weeks, 11 patients were lost to follow up, seven died and 126 completed the study. The commonly encountered cancers were gastrointestinal cancers (43%, p = 0.29), breast cancer (27.27% p = 0.71) and gynaecologic cancers (23% p = 0.35). Majority of the patients i.e. 64.3% had no comorbidities.
The primary analysis results showed higher scores for the DT group (change in mean = 1.57) compared to the UC group (change in mean = - 0.74) yielding a non-statistically significant difference in change scores of 1.44 (p = 0.670; 95% CI - 5.20 to 8.06). After adjusting for baseline scores, the mean (summated) symptom distress score was not significant (GLM p = 0.78). Dignity therapy group showed a trend towards statistical improvement in anxiety (p = 0.059). The largest effects seen were in improvement of appetite, lower anxiety and improved wellbeing (Cohen effect size 0.3, 0.5 and 0.31 respectively).
Conclusion: Dignity therapy showed no statistical improvement in overall quality of life. Symptom improvement was seen in anxiety and this was a trend towards statistical significance (p = 0.059).
Importance: National guidelines recommend early palliative care for patients with advanced heart failure, which disproportionately affects rural and minority populations.
Objective: To determine the effect of an early palliative care telehealth intervention over 16 weeks on the quality of life, mood, global health, pain, and resource use of patients with advanced heart failure.
Design, Setting, and Participants: A single-blind, intervention vs usual care randomized clinical trial was conducted from October 1, 2015, to May 31, 2019, among 415 patients 50 years or older with New York Heart Association class III or IV heart failure or American College of Cardiology stage C or D heart failure at a large Southeastern US academic tertiary medical center and a Veterans Affairs medical center serving high proportions of rural dwellers and African American individuals.
Interventions: The ENABLE CHF-PC (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends Comprehensive Heartcare for Patients and Caregivers) intervention comprises an in-person palliative care consultation and 6 weekly nurse-coach telephonic sessions (20-40 minutes) and monthly follow-up for 48 weeks.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were quality of life (as measured by the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire [KCCQ]: score range, 0-100; higher scores indicate better perceived health status and clinical summary scores =50 are considered “fairly good” quality of life; and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Palliative-14 [FACIT-Pal-14]: score range, 0-56; higher scores indicate better quality of life) and mood (as measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]) over 16 weeks. Secondary outcomes were global health (Patient Reported Outcome Measurement System Global Health), pain (Patient Reported Outcome Measurement System Pain Intensity and Interference), and resource use (hospital days and emergency department visits).
Results: Of 415 participants (221 men; baseline mean [SD] age, 63.8 [8.5] years) randomized to ENABLE CHF-PC (n = 208) or usual care (n = 207), 226 (54.5%) were African American, 108 (26.0%) lived in a rural area, and 190 (45.8%) had a high-school education or less, and a mean (SD) baseline KCCQ score of 52.6 (21.0). At week 16, the mean (SE) KCCQ score improved 3.9 (1.3) points in the intervention group vs 2.3 (1.2) in the usual care group (difference, 1.6; SE, 1.7; d = 0.07 [95% CI, -0.09 to 0.24]) and the mean (SE) FACIT-Pal-14 score improved 1.4 (0.6) points in the intervention group vs 0.2 (0.5) points in the usual care group (difference, 1.2; SE, 0.8; d = 0.12 [95% CI, -0.03 to 0.28]). There were no relevant between-group differences in mood (HADS-anxiety, d = -0.02 [95% CI, –0.20 to 0.16]; HADS-depression, d = –0.09 [95% CI, –0.24 to 0.06]).
Conclusions and Relevance: This randomized clinical trial with a majority African American sample and baseline good quality of life did not demonstrate improved quality of life or mood with a 16-week early palliative care telehealth intervention. However, pain intensity and interference (secondary outcomes) demonstrated a clinically important improvement.
BACKGROUND: Only a few studies have been done focusing on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as their family members. The aim of our research was to determine the factors that influence the QoL of MS patients in advanced stage of disease and their caregivers.
METHODS: The sample of the cross-sectional study included 153 patients with MS and 74 caregivers. QoL was measured using the PNDQoL questionnaire (Progressive Neurological Diseases Quality of Life), and the severity of illness was assessed through the following scales: EDSS (Expanded Disability Status scale), PPS (Palliative Performance Scale), and ADL (Activity Daily Living).
RESULTS: The following predictors of the global QoL of the MS patients were identified - age, EDSS, symptom burden, daily care, emotional functioning, and spiritual_nonreligion functioning (R2 = 0.569; F = 32.900; p < 0.001). The following predictors of the global QoL of caregivers were identified - age, emotional functioning, spiritual_nonreligion functioning, patient's QoL, and feeling of care (R2 = 0.431; F = 18.690; p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Appropriate intervention should be directed particularly at older patients and caregivers who have faced the disease for longer time and at patients without any partner. Supporting the emotional and social well-being and mitigating the burden caused by symptoms of the patients as well as caregivers can improve the QoL of both groups.
Purpose: The purpose of the study is to capture goals expressed by older adults with functional limitations and their caregivers.
Methods: Through focus groups and interviews, 76 older adults with =1 activity of daily living limitation and 28 family/friend caregivers were asked about what mattered most to them and their goals for care. Transcripts were coded using an existing taxonomy. Goals that did not fit the taxonomy were assigned new codes.
Results: We identified more than 50 goals in eight domains. Domains included (a) Medical Care; (b) Quality of Life: Physical; (c) Quality of Life: Social and Emotional; (d) Access to Services and Supports; (e) Caregiver Needs and Concerns; (f) End of Life; (g) Independence; and (h) Acceptable Housing.
Conclusion: While there is overlap between identified goals and the existing taxonomy, new goals emerged. The goal domains identified could serve as a framework to improve and measure the quality of goal-oriented care for older adults with complex needs.
Few studies have explored the inter-relationships of sources of social support and caregiving self-efficacy with caregiver burden and patient's quality of life among patients with palliative care needs and their caregivers. This study tested the associations of two sources of social support (family and friends) and the mediating role of caregiving self-efficacy on caregiver burden and patient's quality of life. A convenience sample of 225 patient-caregiver dyads recruited between September 2016 and May 2017 from three hospitals in Hong Kong was included in the current analysis. Results showed that the final model provided a satisfactory fit (SRMR = 0.070, R-RMSEA = 0.055 and R-CFI = 0.926) with the data, as good as the hypothesized model did (p = 0.326). Significant associations were detected. Family support had a significant negative indirect effect on caregiver burden and a significant positive indirect effect on patient's quality of life through caregiving self-efficacy, whereas friend support had a significant positive direct effect on caregiver burden but a minimal effect, if any, on patient's quality of life. These findings emphasized (1) the importance of caregiving self-efficacy in improving caregiver burden and patient's quality of life and that (2) sources of social support may be an important dimension moderating the associations of caregiving self-efficacy with caregiver burden and patient's quality of life.
PURPOSE: Creative arts therapies aim to expand conventional palliative care interventions by making clinical care more holistic. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the benefits of an art therapy intervention in a tertiary hospital palliative care unit, directly in adult cancer inpatients and indirectly in their relatives.
METHODS: We evaluated the intensity of pain, anxiety, depression and well-being using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) before and after the first, third and fifth art therapy sessions. After the 3rd and 5th sessions, perceived helpfulness was assessed via a questionnaire developed by the palliative care team, combining open-ended questions and a checklist. We categorized the narrative data into three pre-determined types: generally helpful (some positive experience), helpfulness related to a dyadic relationship (patient-art therapist) and helpfulness related to a triadic relationship (patient-image-art therapist).
RESULTS: We observed a significant reduction in anxiety, depression and pain, and a significant increase in well-being at each of the time points evaluated. Ninety-eight percent of the patients considered the art therapy helpful, which could be categorized as generally helpful in 54.8%, related to a triadic relationship in 32.9%, and to a dyadic relationship in 12.3%. Relatives gave similar opinions regarding the effects on patients and, in addition, reported an indirect helpful effect for themselves. The most frequently selected experiences from the checklist were feeling calm, being entertained, and expressing and communicating emotions.
CONCLUSION: This art therapy intervention was beneficial in reducing symptom intensity. Almost all the participants directly or indirectly involved in the creative art process considered it helpful. They reported a wide variety of sensory, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual experiences.
BACKGROUND: Few studies have specifically addressed quality of life issues for elderly hospice patients. The purpose of this study is to explore various factors and service patterns of the quality of life of end-of-life care for the elderly.
METHODS: We collect the data and make small-scale exploratory study via semi-structured individual interviews. Data were collected from the family of 2 elderly cancer patients receiving hospice services, and the data were analyzed qualitatively.
RESULTS: After investigation, we found that elderly people in hospice care, regardless of age, are suffering from physical and psychological pain and do not want to spend the rest of their lives in the hospital, but want to die in their own homes.
CONCLUSIONS: Both hospitalization and in-home care can improve resource utilization, and the key is to find various factors affecting the quality of life. Improving the quality of life is what patients and their families need most.
This study aims to analyse the impact that a psychological intervention programme has on the emotional state of family caregivers of patients at the end of life. The study is longitudinal with two arms (control and experimental). Data was collected from 154 primary family caregivers of patients at the end of life as well as from their respective 154 care-recipients. The intervention programme has shown its effectiveness in reducing anxiety, emotional distress and burden in the family caregivers of end-of-life patients. A reduction of anxiety of patients whose family caregivers participated in the intervention was also observed.
BACKGROUND: Advanced care planning (ACP) provides an opportunity for individuals to explore and document their values concerning medical care decisions prior to an acute event. This manuscript explores the value of ACP and compares and contrasts 2 ACP models currently in practice.
METHODS: This hypothetical case describes an elderly, frail patient with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who is also a high user of health care resources. A new palliative care-led outpatient ACP clinic model is described using this example.
RESULTS: Using the ACP clinic model in this case reveals how different a patient's end of life experience may be when proper, proactive planning measures are in place. With proper education and discussion around this patient and family's wishes pertaining to the end of his life, this man was able to change his plan of care from aggressive resuscitation treatment in hospital to a peaceful palliative experience at home.
CONCLUSIONS: In this case description, the valuable role of ACP in preserving quality of life for patients, increasing satisfaction with care, and decreasing distress among family members during a medical event is demonstrated.
INTRODUCTION: An interdisciplinary team approach to patients in specialised palliative care is recommended; however, the composition of the professionals tends to vary, and the roles of physiotherapists and occupational therapists may be underestimated. We aimed to investigate patient-reported unmet needs, which potentially could benefit from physiotherapy and occupational therapy interventions in a specialised palliative care team.
METHODS: Adult patients with chronic advanced diseases referred to the Specialised Palliative Care Team at Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet were enrolled in the study. The Three-Levels-of-Needs Questionnaire was used as primary outcome to assess symptom/problem intensity, symptom/problem burden and felt needs for 12 commonly reported symptoms/problems for patients referred to a specialised palliative care team. Furthermore, participants' level of distress, fatigue and physical activity, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and barriers towards the rehabilitation programme were registered with other measures.
RESULTS: In total, 43 of 67 (64%) patients participated. The majority of participants reported severe symptoms/problems concerning fatigue (81%), impaired physical activities (77%), carrying out work and daily activities (77%), pain (72%), and worries (58%). Furthermore, need for help was expressed concerning physical activities (79%), work and daily activities (77%), fatigue (70%), pain (65%), concentration (58%) and worries (51%). On average the patients characterised 6 (out of 12) symptoms/problems as severe.
CONCLUSION: Patients referred to a specialised palliative care team reported extensive unmet needs concerning physical activities, work and daily activities, fatigue, pain, concentration and worries. Unmet needs that potentially could be alleviated by physiotherapists or occupational therapists implemented in the interdisciplinary team.
Objective: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) has a poor prognosis and high symptom burden. RESPECT-Meso was a multicenter randomized study examining the role of early specialist palliative care (SPC) on quality of life (QoL) with MPM. This is a post-hoc exploratory analysis of the symptom burden and unmet needs identified from RESPECT-Meso participants.
Methods: Exploratory analysis from 174 participants using the General Health Status (GHS) measure (from the EORTC QLQ-C30 QoL questionnaire) and 87 participants using validated assessment questionnaires in those randomized to SPC. Eligibility for the study included confirmed MPM with diagnosis <6 weeks prior, performance score (PS) 0 or 1, no significant physical or psychological comorbidity. Cox proportional hazards models were derived to examine for relationships with survival. Free text was assessed using content analysis, looking for common themes and words.
Results: Participants were predominantly male (79.9%), mean age 72.8 years, PS was 0 in 38%, 78% of MPM was epithelioid. At least 3 symptoms were reported in 69.8% of participants, including fatigue (81%), dyspnea (73.3%), pain (61.2%), weight loss (59.3%). Anxiety was reported by 54.7% of participants, 52.3% low mood and 48.8% anhedonia symptoms. After multivariable adjustment, only pain remained statistically significant with a hazard ratio (HR) 2.9 (95% CI 1.3-6.7; p = 0.01). For each 1 unit increase in GHS score, the HR for death was 0.987 (0.978-0.996; p = 0.006), indicating a worse reported QoL is related to shorter survival. Unmet needs were common: 25.9% wanted more information about their condition, 24.7% about their care and 21.2% about their treatment. 79.1% were concerned about the effect of their illness on family.
Conclusion: There is a high symptom burden in mesothelioma despite good baseline performance status. A worse QoL is associated with a worse survival. Unmet needs are common, perhaps highlighting a need for improved communication and information sharing.
The present study aimed to investigate the effects of S-1 combined with palliative care (PC) on the immune function and quality of life (QOL) of patients with advanced stomach cancer (ASC). In this prospective study, 168 patients with ASC admitted to our hospital from September 2016 to March 2018 were enrolled as research objects. Seventy-seven cases were treated with S-1 alone (single drug group, SDG), while another 91 cases were treated with S-1 combined with PC (combined drug group, CDG). The effects of the two therapeutic methods on the efficacy [overall response rate (ORR)], 1-year overall survival rate (OSR), safety, negative emotions, nutritional indices, QOL, and immune function indices of patients were analyzed. After treatment, ORR, OSR, levels of nutritional indices [albumin (ALB), prealbumin (PA), and transferrin (TF)], and QOL improvement rate in the CDG were significantly higher than those in the SDG (P<0.05). After treatment, compared with those in the SDG, patients in the CDG had a lower Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) score, Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) score, and number of adverse reactions (P<0.05), and significantly improved immune function indices (CD4+, CD8+, and CD4+/CD8+) (P<0.05). S-1 combined with PC treatment was superior to S-1 treatment alone in patients with ASC. The patients treated with the combination exhibited improved efficacy (a higher ORR), higher QOL, and improved immune function, and thus this treatment can be clinically popularized.
Background: The health of caregivers can be affected during end-of-life caregiving. Previous cross-sectional studies have indicated an association between poor health status and prolonged grief disorder, but prospective studies are lacking.
Aim: To describe physical and mental health status in caregivers of patients at the end of life, and to investigate whether caregivers’ health status during caregiving predict prolonged grief disorder.
Design: A population-based prospective survey was conducted. Health status was measured in caregivers during caregiving (SF-36), and prolonged grief disorder was assessed 6 months after bereavement (Prolonged Grief-13). We calculated mean scores of health status and explored the association with prolonged grief disorder using logistic regression adjusted for age, gender and education.
Setting/participants: The health in caregivers of patients granted drug reimbursement due to terminal illness in Denmark in 2012 was assessed during caregiving and 6 months after bereavement (n = 2125).
Results: The SF-36 subscale ‘role-physical’ concerning role limitations due to physical health, the ‘mental health’ component score, and all ‘mental health’ subscales showed significantly worse health in the participants than in the general population. Both poor physical health (adjusted OR: 1.05 (95% CI: 1.04–1.07)) and poor mental health (adjusted OR: 1.09 (95% CI: 1.07–1.11)) predicted prolonged grief disorder.
Conclusion: Caregivers scored lower on one physical subscale and all mental health measures than the general population. Prolonged grief disorder was predicted by poor physical and mental health status before bereavement. Future research is needed on the use of health status in systematic assessment to identify caregivers in need of support.
Background: The EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL is a shortened version of the widely used EORTC QLQ-C30. This questionnaire was developed to measure the symptoms and functional health of patients receiving palliative care.
Objective: To enhance clinical interpretability of the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL, our aim was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of thresholds for clinical importance developed previously for the QLQ-C30 when applied to the QLQ-C15-PAL scales.
Design: Cross-sectional observational study.
Setting/Subjects: Patients with cancer receiving any type of palliative treatment.
Measurement: Patients completed the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL and anchor items on limitations, worries, and need for help for each of the health domains covered by the questionnaire. The anchor items were summarized in a binary criterion for clinical importance to calculate the sensitivity and specificity of the thresholds for clinical importance.
Results: In total, 225 patients participated in the study (mean age 64.5 years). Patients were recruited from Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The thresholds for clinical importance for the QLQ-C15-PAL scales showed a median sensitivity of 0.88 (range: 0.82 for sleep disturbances to 1.00 for dyspnea) and a median specificity of 0.74 (range: 0.54 for dyspnea to 0.89 for constipation).
Conclusion: The thresholds for clinical importance showed high sensitivity and mostly high specificity in identifying clinically important symptoms and functional health impairments as assessed by the QLQ-C15-PAL. These thresholds will facilitate interpretation of EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL scores in daily clinical practice and clinical research.