Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a construct that focuses on the capacity for living afforded by the health status of a patient. Measurement of HRQOL allows a composite estimation of the capacity for living of a patient and can help capture the suffering experienced by the patient due to adverse effects of therapeutic interventions. This study was conducted to understand the health-related quality of life of cancer patients undergoing various modalities of treatment to generate evidence source for need-based intervention, to assess patients diagnosed with cancers, using Health Utilities Index - 3 (HUI-3) and assign them single-score values to gauge HRQOL and to measure the various domains of HRQOL and change in HRQOL after a period of three months of treatment.
Methods: A descriptive, longitudinal study was conducted amongst patients aged more than 18 years, who were diagnosed with cancer at a tertiary care multispecialty hospital in New Delhi. They were administered a standardized HUI-3 Questionnaire and their responses were recorded, simultaneously. Statistical significance for change in HRQOL score was assessed with paired t-test. Multivariate linear regression was used to identify the various correlates of HRQOL.
Results: The mean (± standard deviation) overall HRQOL score for all participants was 0.71 (± 0.262) [range=-0.09 to 1.00]. A follow-up assessment was carried out after three months and changes in health scores were subsequently recorded. A significant decrease in mean overall HRQOL score was seen for the entire group after three months of having been administered treatment. Single-attributes of emotion and ambulation were maximally affected amongst cancer patients after three months of treatment. On linear regression analyses, baseline HRQOL was a significant correlate of HRQOL at follow-up after three months.
Conclusion: : Addressing the HRQOL of a cancer patient before starting treatment would address morbidity that might be present even after three months.
Keywords: Cancer; health-related quality of life; quality of life; utility score.