Re-validation and shortening of the Functional Assessment of Anorexia/Cachexia Therapy (FAACT) questionnaire

Qual Life Res. 2000;9(10):1137-46. doi: 10.1023/a:1016670403148.


Purpose: The original Functional Assessment of Anorexia/Cachexia Therapy (FAACT) was designed to measure general aspects of quality of life (QOL) as well as specific anorexia/cachexia-related concerns. Our primary purpose was to reduce the number of anorexia/cachexia subscale items in a manner that either retains or improves reliability, validity and precision.

Methods: The FAACT was administered using an interactive computer program that allowed immediate entry of the data. A total of 213 patients were recruited.

Results: A combined empirical and conceptual approach led to the reduction of the anorexia/cachexia subscale (A/CS) from 18 to 12 items. A 26-item trial outcome index (TOI) combining physical well-being (PWB), functional well-being (FWB), and the A/CS-12 was highly reliable and sensitive to change in performance status rating (PSR). We found that PWB, FWB, and A/CS-12 subscales performed differently. Specifically, PWB and FWB scores decreased in patients whose (PSR) worsened. However, although A/CS-12 scores were responsive to change in PSR over time, average A/CS-12 scores of all patients, even those whose PSR worsened, improved over the course of treatment.

Conclusions: Elimination of six items from the anorexia/cachexia subscale of the FAACT was accomplished without loss of internal consistency or sensitivity to change in performance status. The A/CS-12 subscale provides unique, important information not captured by a generic chronic illness questionnaire.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification*
  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anorexia / drug therapy*
  • Anorexia / etiology
  • Cachexia / drug therapy*
  • Cachexia / etiology
  • California
  • Chicago
  • Cost of Illness
  • Feeding Behavior / classification
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Megestrol Acetate / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Nutritional Status / drug effects*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss


  • Megestrol Acetate