Development of the Berlin Symptom Checklist Ovary (BSCL-O) for the measurement of quality of life of patients with primary and recurrent ovarian cancer: results of a phase I and II study

Support Care Cancer. 2010 Aug;18(8):931-42. doi: 10.1007/s00520-009-0733-0. Epub 2009 Sep 17.


Goals of work: Quality of life (Qol) represents a relevant end point in the clinical management of advanced ovarian cancer (AOC). However, there exist only a few specific instruments which have been designed for patients with ovarian cancer. The aim of this study was to develop a systematic checklist (Berlin Symptom Checklist Ovary (BSCL-O)) as an instrument of Qol for patients with AOC and to discriminate between the frequency and the importance of symptoms.

Patients and methods: The main symptoms were identified in a phase I study via free interviews of five patients with ovarian cancer (OC) as well as five medical doctors, family dependent, and care workers. In the phase II study, the capability of BSCL-O was evaluated by questionnaire-guided interviews of 200 patients with primary OC, recurrent OC, metastasized breast cancer, and benign ovarian tumors.

Main results: In phase I, 36 main symptoms were identified. In phase II, 7,200 answers from 98.5% of all patients were evaluable. Of the 36 symptoms of the BSCL-O, 23 revealed clinical relevance. There was a correlation of frequency and importance of symptoms (p < 0.05). The symptoms of the BSCL-O were deemed twice as strenuous in patients with recurrent OC.

Conclusions: The BSCL-O can measure Qol of patients with OC. The BSCL-O is being validated in a phase III study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*