Objective: To estimate minimally important differences (MIDs) on the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Colorectal (FACT-C) instrument using anchor- and distribution-based methods.
Study design and setting: Preliminary MIDs were generated for FACT-C scores based on published results for two samples (n = 60 and n = 63) from the FACT-C validation study. Preliminary MIDs were confirmed using data from a Phase II randomized controlled clinical trial (n = 104) and a population-based observational study (n = 568). MIDs were estimated for the colorectal cancer subscale (CCS); the FACT-C Trial Outcome Index (TOI-C), which is the sum of the CCS, physical well-being, and functional well-being subscales; and the FACT-C total score. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were used.
Results: MIDs were stable across the different patient samples. The recommended MIDs ranged from 2 to 3 points for the CCS, 4 to 6 points for the TOI-C, and 5 to 8 points for the FACT-C total score.
Conclusions: MIDs can enhance the interpretability of FACT-C scores, and they can be used to provide a basis for sample size estimation and to determine clinical benefit in combination with other measures of efficacy. General guidelines for estimating MIDs for other FACT instruments are suggested.