Evaluation of the content coverage of questionnaires containing basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL) used in adult patients with brain tumors

J Neurooncol. 2019 May;143(1):1-13. doi: 10.1007/s11060-019-03136-9. Epub 2019 Mar 18.


Background: Everyday functioning can be assessed using measures of basic activities of daily living (BADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). The aim of this review was to provide an overview of the scope and specific content of BADL and/or IADL covered by currently used questionnaires in adult brain tumor patient studies.

Methods: Electronic databases were searched up to April 2017 to identify all eligible questionnaires with items regarding BADL/IADL in studies with adult brain tumor patients. Articles were selected using predetermined in- and exclusion criteria. Items with similar content were clustered into domains based on type of activity.

Results: Thirty-one unique questionnaires containing at least one BADL and/or IADL item were identified; 21 and 29 questionnaires containing ≥ 1 BADL or IADL item, respectively. The percentage of ADL items in these questionnaires ranged from 4 to 100%. Only two questionnaires were specifically developed to measure BADL (Barthel Index and Katz-ADL) and two specifically for IADL (Lawton-Brody IADL and preliminary IADL-BN). Content clustering revealed that IADL had a larger variation in content (31 domains, e.g. work or leisure time activities) compared to BADL (15 domains, e.g. mobility or bathing/washing).

Conclusion: Thirty-one questionnaires previously used in brain tumor studies contained items on BADL and/or IADL and covered a wide range of content, in particular for IADL. It is currently unclear which BADL/IADL are most relevant for brain tumor patients, and this should therefore be evaluated. Next, existing questionnaires could be adapted or validated, or new measures can be developed to meet these needs.

Keywords: ADL; Activities of daily living; Brain tumor; Daily functioning; Glioma.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*