Quality-of-Life assessment in malignant pleural effusion treated with indwelling pleural catheter: a prospective study

Palliat Med. 2014 Apr;28(4):326-34. doi: 10.1177/0269216314521851. Epub 2014 Feb 12.


Background: Malignant pleural effusion is a clinical problem that impairs Quality of Life in patients with advanced malignancies. An indwelling pleural catheter is an alternative treatment to palliate some of the symptoms.

Aim: To evaluate the Quality of Life of outpatients with malignant pleural effusion who were treated with an indwelling pleural catheter. Questionnaire compliance, catheter patency time, and survival were analyzed.

Design: A multicenter observational study was conducted across five hospitals in Spain. Quality of Life was assessed at three different time points (before catheter placement and at 30 and 60 days post-placement) using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Questionnaire QLQ-C30. For lung cancer patients, the QLQ-LC13 was also used.

Participants: Patients with recurrent malignant pleural effusion treated with an indwelling pleural catheter.

Results: A total of 51 outpatients completed the baseline QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Of these, 28 completed the questionnaire at 30 days. Of these 28 patients, 13 completed the questionnaire at 60 days. Scores showed a significant improvement in symptoms scales at 30 days (p = 0.03). Global health status and functional scales showed a non-significant trend to improvement at 30 and 60 days. A total of 27 lung cancer patients completed the QLQ-LC13 questionnaire. Items assessing dyspnea showed a significant improvement following catheter placement (p = 0.002).

Conclusion: Indwelling pleural catheter is useful for palliative management of recurrent malignant pleural effusion in that it benefits Quality of Life in outpatients with advanced malignancies. In lung cancer patients, scores indicated that indwelling pleural catheter also provides significant relief of dyspnea.

Keywords: Pleural effusion; Quality of Life; catheters; indwelling; malignant; outpatients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Catheters, Indwelling*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / mortality
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tertiary Care Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors