Development of an EORTC Item Bank for Computer-Adaptive Testing of Nausea and Vomiting

Semin Oncol Nurs. 2022 Dec;38(6):151341. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2022.151341. Epub 2022 Oct 22.


Objectives: Nausea and vomiting (NV) remain common cancer symptoms and frequent side effects of anticancer therapies despite available antiemetics. They can lead to treatment disruption and discontinuation. NV is an important patient reported outcome in oncology. This study aimed to build an item bank for computer-adaptive testing (CAT) based on NV questions in the European Organisation for Research for Treatment of Cancer, Quality of Life for Cancer Patients (EORTC QLQ-C30) questionnaire and complete the first three phases of development as described in the EORTC Quality of Life Group guidelines.

Data sources: The development followed a standard procedure. The three phases include conceptualization and literature search (phase 1); item classification, selection, formulation and rating, and expert evaluations (phase 2); and patient pretesting (phase 3). The literature search resulted in a preliminary list of 115 items. Following classification, formulation, and rating, 21 candidate items adhered to the QLQ-C30 format. Evaluation by experts (n = 11) from five countries and patients (n = 31) pretesting in Denmark, Poland, and the UK lead to a final list of 20 items.

Conclusion: The selection, development, and refining of NV items have been described. The nature of this testing ensures an initial CAT item bank that after field testing (phase 4) and psychometric analysis is expected to provide a precise and efficient NV measurement while still being comparable to the original QLQ-C30 scale.

Implications for nursing practice: Access to reliable tools that facilitate NV comprehensive assessment is an important issue for nurses caring for patients with cancer. This CAT item bank is meant to support clinical decisions when all phases of testing are completed.

Keywords: Computer-adaptive testing; EORTC; Health-related quality of life; Nausea; Vomiting.

MeSH terms

  • Computers
  • Humans
  • Nausea
  • Neoplasms* / complications
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Quality of Life*
  • Vomiting