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Meta-analysis provides evidence-based interpretation guidelines for the clinical significance of mean differences for the FACT-G, a cancer-specific quality of life questionnaire.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Patient Related Outcome Measures
1179-271X
Publisher
Dove Medical Press
Publication Date
Volume
1
Pages
119–126
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2147/PROM.S10621
PMID: 22915958
Source
Medline
Keywords
  • Health-Related Quality Of Life
  • Patient-Reported Outcomes

Abstract

Our aim was to develop evidence-based interpretation guidelines for the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G), a cancer-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) instrument, from a range of clinically relevant anchors, incorporating expert judgment about clinical significance. Three clinicians with many years' experience managing cancer patients and using HRQOL outcomes in clinical research reviewed 71 papers. Blinded to the FACT-G results, they considered the clinical anchors associated with each FACT-G mean difference, predicted which dimensions of HRQOL would be affected, and whether the effects would be trivial, small, moderate, or large. These size classes were defined in terms of clinical relevance. The experts' judgments were then linked with FACT-G mean differences, and inverse-variance weighted mean differences were calculated for each size class. Small, medium, and large differences (95% confidence interval) from 1,118 cross-sectional comparisons were as follows: physical well-being 1.9 (0.6-3.2), 4.1 (2.7-5.5), 8.7 (5.2-12); functional well-being 2.0 (0.5-3.5), 3.8 (2.0-5.5), 8.8 (4.3-13); emotional well-being 1.0 (0.1-2.6), 1.9 (0.3-3.5), no large differences; social well-being 0.7 (-0.7 to 2.1), 0.8 (-2.9 to 4.5), no large differences. Results from 436 longitudinal comparisons tended to be smaller than the corresponding cross-sectional results. These results augment other interpretation guidelines for FACT-G with information on sample size, power calculations, and interpretation of cancer clinical trials that use FACT-G.

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