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01-05-2014 | Uitgave 4/2014

Quality of Life Research 4/2014

Health-related quality of life among breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer patients with end-stage disease

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2014
Niilo Färkkilä, Saku Torvinen, Risto P. Roine, Harri Sintonen, Juha Hänninen, Kimmo Taari, Tiina Saarto
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Trial registration: This trial has been registered in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District Register (www.​hus.​fi) with the unique trial number 233895.



To explore end-stage breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL); to compare results obtained by different HRQoL instruments; and to explore factors related to impaired HRQoL.


A cross-sectional observational study utilized two generic HRQoL instruments, the 15D and the EQ-5D, and a cancer-specific instrument, the EORTC QLQ-C30. Patients were recruited from the Helsinki University Hospital’s Department of Oncology and from a local hospice.


Of the 114 palliative care patients included in the analysis, 27 had breast cancer, 30 had prostate cancer, and 57 had colorectal cancer. Of these, 28 % died within 3 months after their response, while 32 % died within three to 6 months, and 39 % died more than 6 months after. Utility values varied widely by instrument: the 15D gave the highest utility values and VAS the lowest (15D: 0.74, EQ-5D: 0.59 and VAS: 55). Patients close to death had lower HRQoL scores independently from the instrument used. The EQ-5D showed a pronounced ceiling effect, with 13 % of patients reporting full health, whereas the corresponding figures for the 15D and VAS were 1 and 0 %, respectively. Fatigue was the most common symptom and also predicted impaired HRQoL most significantly.


All instruments were applicable for the evaluation of HRQoL among end-stage cancer patients. Fatigue seemed to be the most significant deteriorating factor, whereas clinical and demographic factors had less of an effect on HRQoL.

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