Normative data for the EORTC QLQ-C30 from the Austrian general population

Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2020 Aug 12;18(1):275. doi: 10.1186/s12955-020-01524-8.


Background: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 is a widely used cancer-specific questionnaire assessing 15 domains of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Our aim was to facilitate the interpretation of scores on this questionnaire by providing Austrian normative data based on a general population sample.

Methods: The calculation of normative data was based on the EORTC QLQ-C30 data collected from an Austrian general population sample that was part of an international online panel study on the development of European normative data. Data reported herein were stratified and weighted by age and sex. Normative data were calculated for all 15 HRQoL domains of the EORTC QLQ-C30. For precise predictions of EORTC QLQ-C30 scores, a regression model based on sex, age and the presence of health conditions was built.

Results: The Austrian sample comprised 1002 Austrian participants (50.1% female, 51.4% when weighted by age and sex based on United Nation statistics). The mean age was 53.7 years (weighted: 47.7 years) and 53.6% (weighted: 47.4%) reported at least one health condition. Men reported better physical (Cohen's d = 0.17) and emotional (Cohen's d = 0.17) functioning as well as less fatigue (Cohen's d = 0.18) and insomnia (Cohen's d = 0.25) compared with women. Younger individuals (< 40 years) reported less dyspnea (Cohen's d = 0.61) and pain (Cohen's d = 0.51), whereas older individuals (≥60 years) reported better emotional functioning (Cohen's d = 0.55).

Conclusions: We present Austrian normative data for the EORTC QLQ-C30. Differences by age and sex are mostly in line with the findings of other European normative studies. The Austrian population sample shows higher HRQoL and lower morbidity compared with other European countries. The normative data in this study will facilitate the interpretation of EORTC QLQ-C30 scores in oncological practice and research at a national and international level (including cross-cultural comparisons).

Keywords: Austria; EORTC QLQ-C30; General population; Normative data; Oncology; Patient-reported outcome measures; Quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Austria
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data*