An international study to revise the EORTC questionnaire for assessing quality of life in lung cancer patients

Ann Oncol. 2017 Nov 1;28(11):2874-2881. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdx453.


Background: The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-LC13 was the first module to be used in conjunction with the core questionnaire, the QLQ-C30. Since the publication of the LC13 in 1994, major advances have occurred in the treatment of lung cancer. Given this, an update of the EORTC QLQ-LC13 was undertaken.

Methods: The study followed phases I to III of the EORTC Module Development Guidelines. Phase I generated relevant quality-of-life issues using a mix of sources including the involvement of 108 lung cancer patients. Phase II transformed issues into questionnaire items. In an international multicenter study (phase III), patients completed both the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the 48-item provisional lung cancer module generated in phases I and II. Patients rated each of the items regarding relevance, comprehensibility, and acceptance. Patient ratings were assessed against a set of prespecified statistical criteria. Descriptive statistics and basic psychometric analyses were carried out.

Results: The phase III study enrolled 200 patients with histologically confirmed lung cancer from 12 centers in nine countries (Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain, Norway, Poland, Taiwan, and the UK). Mean age was 64 years (39 - 91), 59% of the patients were male, 82% had non-small-cell lung cancer, and 56% were treated with palliative intent. Twenty-nine of the 48 questions met the criteria for inclusion.

Conclusions: The resulting module with 29 questions, thus currently named EORTC QLQ-LC29, retained 12 of the 13 original items, supplemented with 17 items that primarily assess treatment side-effects of traditional and newer therapies.

Keywords: clinical trials; lung cancer; patient-reported outcomes (PRO); quality of life; systematic development.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / complications
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / psychology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / psychology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life*
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / complications
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / psychology
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome