Comparison of the EORTC QLQ-BM22 and the FACT-BP for assessment of quality of life in cancer patients with bone metastases

Marko Popovic, Janet Nguyen, Emily Chen, Julia Di Giovanni, Liang Zeng, Edward Chow
Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research 2012, 12 (2): 213-9

INTRODUCTION: Maintenance or improvement in quality of life (QoL) is the main goal of palliative treatments for bone metastases. Validated and comprehensive tools assessing QoL for specific patient subgroups are required in order to accurately assess and make informed decisions about palliative treatments. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire for patients with bone metastases (QLQ-BM22) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Quality of Life Measurement in patients with bone pain (FACT-BP) are the only two palliative QoL tools available that have been validated for use specifically for bone metastases patients. The purpose of this study was to compare the development and characteristics of these two tools, as well as their current use in palliative research.

METHODS: Studies detailing the development process for the QLQ-BM22 and the FACT-BP were identified. A comparison between both questionnaires in terms of development, characteristics, validation and use was conducted.

RESULTS: The QLQ-BM22 was developed with collaboration from patients, healthcare professionals and review of the literature, whereas the FACT-BP was created strictly through interviews with patients. Scoring, organization, response options and item format are different; however, recall period is the same. Both tools showed good internal consistency and construct validity. The QLQ-BM22 showed good test-retest reliability, while this has not been tested with the FACT-BP. The QLQ-BM22 has been internationally validated among a large sample of patients undergoing a variety of treatments, demonstrating its ability of detect meaningful QoL changes in diverse bone metastases populations. On the other hand, the FACT-BP demonstrated high internal consistency at all assessments, indicating that it may be utilized as a stand-alone measure of bone pain.

CONCLUSION: Both the QLQ-BM22 and FACT-BP are designed for assessment of QoL issues specific to cancer patients with bone metastases. Each instrument has unique strengths and weaknesses and choice between these tools is dependent on the investigator and study needs.

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