Predictive factors for overall quality of life in patients with advanced cancer

Support Care Cancer. 2013 Jun;21(6):1709-16. doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1717-7. Epub 2013 Jan 22.


Objective: This study examined which domains/symptoms from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 15 Palliative (QLQ-C15-PAL), an abbreviated version of the health-related EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire designed for palliative cancer patients, were predictive of overall quality of life (QOL) in advanced cancer patients.

Methods: Patients with advanced cancer from six countries completed the QLQ-C15-PAL at consultation and at one follow-up point. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were conducted to determine the predictive value of the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL functional/symptom scores for global QOL (question 15).

Results: Three hundred forty-nine patients completed the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL at baseline. In the total patient sample, worse emotional functioning, pain, and appetite loss were the most significant predictive factors for worse QOL. In the subgroup of patients with bone metastases (n = 240), the domains mentioned above were also the most significant predictors, whereas in patients with brain metastases (n = 109), worse physical and emotional functioning most significantly predicted worse QOL. One-month follow-up in 267 patients revealed that the significant predictors changed somewhat over time. For example, in the total patient sample, physical functioning, fatigue, and appetite loss were significant predictors at the follow-up point. A sub-analysis of predictive factors affecting QOL by primary cancer (lung, breast, and prostate) was also conducted for the total patient sample.

Conclusion: Deterioration of certain EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL functional/symptom scores significantly contributes to worse overall QOL. Special attention should be directed to managing factors most influential on overall QOL to ensure optimal management of advanced cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anorexia / psychology
  • Bone Neoplasms / psychology
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Brain Neoplasms / psychology
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Pain / psychology
  • Palliative Care / psychology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology
  • Psychology
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Young Adult