The current use of the EORTC QLQ-NMIBC24 and QLQ-BLM30 questionnaires for the assessment of health-related quality of life in bladder cancer patients: a systematic review

Qual Life Res. 2023 Aug;32(8):2127-2135. doi: 10.1007/s11136-022-03335-4. Epub 2023 Jan 17.


Purpose: Investigating the use of the EORTC bladder cancer (BC) modules by evaluating: (a) study contexts/designs; (b) languages/countries in which the modules were administered; (c) their acceptance by patients/investigators; and (d) their psychometric properties.

Methods: A systematic review was performed with studies from 1998 until 20/10/2021 in five databases. Articles/conference abstracts using the EORTC-QLQBLM30 (muscle invasive BC) and the EORTC-QLQNMIBC24 (previously referred to as QLQ-BLS24; non-muscle invasive BC) were included. Two authors independently screened titles/abstracts/full-texts and performed data extraction.

Results: A total of 76 eligible studies were identified. Most studies included the BLM30 (n = 53), were in a urological surgery context (n = 41) and were cross-sectional (n = 35) or prospective (n = 30) in design. The BC modules were administered in 14 languages across 19 countries. Missing data were low-moderate for all non-sex related questions (< 1% to 15%). Sex-related questions had higher rates of missing data (ranging from 6.9% to 84%). Most investigators did not use all scales of the questionnaires. One validation study for the original BLS24 led to the development of the NMIBC24, which adopted a new scale structure for which good structural validity was confirmed (n = 3). Good reliability and validity was shown for the NMIBC24 module, except for malaise and bloating/flatulence scales. Psychometric evidence for BLM30 is lacking.

Conclusion: These results provide insight into how the EORTC BC quality of life modules could be further improved. Current work is ongoing to update the modules and to determine if the two modules can be combined into a single questionnaire that works well in both the NMIBC and MIBC settings.

Keywords: Bladder cancer; EORTC; Health-related quality of life; Measurement; Questionnaire development.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms*