Health-related quality of life in survivors of tumours of the central nervous system in childhood--a preference-based approach to measurement in a cross-sectional study

Eur J Cancer. 1999 Feb;35(2):248-55. doi: 10.1016/s0959-8049(98)00366-9.


There is an evident need to measure the comprehensive burden of morbidity experienced by survivors of brain tumours in childhood. To this end, a questionnaire based on the Health Utilities Index mark 2 (HUI2) and mark 3 (HUI3) systems was completed independently for a cohort of such children by their parents, by a nurse, by physicians and by a selected group of the children themselves. Each of the HUI2 and HUI3 systems consists of a multi-attribute health status classification scheme linked to a preference function which provides utility scores for levels within single attributes (domains of health) and for global health states. All eligible families (n = 44) participated. Even cognitively impaired children of at least 9.5 years of age could complete the questionnaire. The greatest burden of morbidity, occurring in two-thirds of children, was in the attribute of cognition. Surprisingly, almost one-third of children experienced pain. Global health status was lowest in children who underwent radiotherapy before the age of 5 years and the corresponding utility scores were related inversely to the volume irradiated. Children with demonstrable disease had lower scores than those in whom disease was not evident. There was a high level of agreement (intraclass correlation coefficients > 0.5) on formal assessment of inter-rater reliability for global health-related quality of life utility scores. The usefulness of measures of health status and health-related quality of life, in children surviving brain tumours, has been demonstrated by this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survivors