Although the subjective nature of quality of life perception is generally accepted, less attention has been paid to the procedure of selecting domains to be explored with questionnaires. In most cases domains are selected by panel of experts. It is not known whether these domains are relevant for the patients. Moreover, questionnaires developed in 'foreign' countries may not be culturally sound or relevant for patients living in different cultural background. In order to explore what really contributes to quality of life of Italian patients, a survey was conducted with the aim of identifying any dimension of quality of life, positively or negatively impacted on from the illness and therapies. A sample of two hundred and eighty-eight cancer patients with previously specified characteristics (primary tumor, stage of disease and place of residence) were identified. After consenting to participate to the study, a staff member (a physician, a nurse or a psychologist) asked the patient to complete an open-ended questionnaire in the out-patient clinic or at home. This questionnaire, partially derived from a study by Padilla et al. was made up of 5 questions: 'What does the term quality of life mean to you?', 'What contributes to a good quality of life?', 'What contributes to a poor or bad quality of life?', 'Which either physical or psychological symptom interferes with your quality of life?', 'State any positive or negative change in your quality of life, due to illness or treatments'. The first question was asked to explore the meaning of quality of life for the patient; the second and third question were asked to determine the contents of quality of life not health related; the fourth question and the diary provided information about quality of life contents related to his own experience of disease. Two hundred and forty-eight questionnaires (86.1%) were obtained from 7 Cancer Centres participating in the study (Genova, Milano, Roma, Perugia, Napoli, Cagliari, Palermo). All the questionnaires were transcribed and subsequently broken down in phrases on a form that allowed coding. Three raters (a research nurse, an oncologist and a clinical psychologist) made the content analysis using as conceptual framework the list of domains identified by the Italian Society of Psycho-Oncology. The present study shows the possibility to define the content domain of quality of life attributes for cancer patients, using patients as experts.
|Titolo:||Objective and rational evaluation of the quality of life in oncology in the first phase of the QVONC project|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/06 - Oncologia Medica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||mar-1997|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|