An international validation study of the EORTC brain cancer module (EORTC QLQ-BN20) for assessing health-related quality of life and symptoms in brain cancer patients

M.J.B. Taphoorn, L. Claassens, N.K. Aaronson, C. Coens, M. Mauer, D. Osoba, R. Stupp, R.O. Mirimanoff, M.J. van den Bent, A. Bottomley

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The psychometric properties of the EORTC QLQ-BN20, a brain cancer-specific HRQOL questionnaire, have been previously determined in an English-speaking sample of patients. This study examined the validity and reliability of the questionnaire in a multi-national, multi-lingual study.

QLQ-BN20 data were selected from two completed phase III EORTC/NCIC clinical trials in brain cancer (N = 891), including 12 languages. Experimental treatments were surgery followed by radiotherapy (RT) and adjuvant PCV chemotherapy or surgery followed by concomitant RT plus temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy and adjuvant TMZ chemotherapy. Standard treatment consisted of surgery and postoperative RT alone. The psychometrics of the QLQ-BN20 were examined by means of multi-trait scaling analyses, reliability estimation, known groups validity testing, and responsiveness analysis.

All QLQ-BN20 items correlated more strongly with their own scale (r > 0.70) than with other QLQ-BN20 scales. Internal consistency reliability coefficients were high (all α 0.70). Known-groups comparisons yielded positive results, with the QLQ-BN20 distinguishing between patients with differing levels of performance status and mental functioning. Responsiveness of the questionnaire to changes over time was acceptable.

The QLQ-BN20 demonstrates adequate psychometric properties and can be recommended for use in conjunction with the QLQ-C30 in assessing the HRQOL of brain cancer patients in international studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1040
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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