[Self assessment quality of life and lung diseases (SAQOL in patients with pulmonary carcinoma: influence to survival and impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]

P R Grahmann, A J Crockett
Pneumologie 2005, 59 (7): 446-55

BACKGROUND: Lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often occur concomitantly. Whilst there are several questionnaires relating to COPD that have been translated into German (CCOPDQ, CRQ, SGRQ) there is a need for a short instrument measuring the impact of the concomitant diseases or intervention on a patient's Quality of Life specifically in German language. As there is to date no genuine German questionnaire neither in general, nor in detail for both, lung cancer and the often concomitant COPD, we created and tested an appropriate single instrument.

METHODS: The feasibility and validity of a short, self-administered quality of life questionnaire for use with patients diagnosed with COPD and/or pulmonary malignancies was evaluated. The 27 questions of Self Assessment Quality of Life in Lung Diseases (SAQOL) questionnaire were issued to out-patients with lung cancer (18 females, 75 males, mean 62.6 years, 18 to 81), 54 of with concomitant COPD.

RESULTS: Correlations to comparable domains of the tumour-related QLQ-C30 of EORTC were good in cancer patients. Quality of life impact scores in the shorter and organ specific SAQOL domains showed even higher values than the QLQ C-30. A higher quote of Quality of life impaction was related to a poorer prognosis despite comparable tumour stages. There was a relevant impact related to the presence of COPD in addition to lung cancer. To investigate the validity in severe COPD an English version of the questionnaire was applied in the Respiratory Unit, Adelaide Australia, together with the Nottingham Health Profile in patients with long-term oxygen therapy (n = 20), which correlated well with the lung specific domains of SAQOL.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that SAQOL is an easy to handle questionnaire, which shows on the one hand good correlation to the tumour-related domains of the broadly investigated and reliable QLQ C30, and on the other hand to the long-term used and valid lung specific generic Nottingham Health Profile in COPD. The important influence COPD in quality of life impact highlights the need for an organ specific questionnaire for both, lung cancer and obstructive airway disease. This important factor for quality of life alteration seems to be underestimated in other generic questionnaires or it needs the issue of at least two different and more time consuming instruments for adequate assessment. Additionally a high degree of quality of life impaction was linked to a short survival in our study patients with advanced lung cancer.

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