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01-06-2016 | Uitgave 6/2016

Quality of Life Research 6/2016

Validation of the EORTC QLQ-INFO 25 questionnaire in Lebanese cancer patients: Is ignorance a Bliss?

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2016
Samer Tabchi, Elie El Rassy, Aline Khazaka, Fadi El Karak, Hampig Raphael Kourie, Ralph Chebib, Tarek Assi, Maya Ghor, Lara Naamani, Sami Richa, Marwan Ghosn, Joseph Kattan
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-015-1201-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Despite worldwide trends toward optimizing full disclosure of information (DOI), the prevailing belief that cancer diagnosis should be concealed from patients, for their own good, has endured for a substantial period of time in Middle Eastern communities.


This study would assess the reliability of the Arabic translated version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-INFO 25). The study was also designed to quantify DOI to Lebanese cancer patients and determine patient satisfaction with this DOI. Moreover, we compared the differences in the level of information among groups based on clinical and biographical variables.


A sample of patients, being treated for a variety of malignancies, was prospectively evaluated. A physician interviewed patients using the Arabic version of the EORTC QLQ-INFO 25, on the day of hospitalization for chemotherapy, before treatment was administered.


In total 201 patients were interviewed. The translated version of the EORTC QLQ-INFO 25 showed high reliability when assessed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for internal consistency with values scoring higher than 0.7 for all scales and the full questionnaire. There was a considerable lack of information provided to the participants with 38.8 % being unaware of their diagnosis and more than half being uninformed about the extent of their disease. Paradoxically, 86.5 % of patients expressed their satisfaction about the amount of information they received and 89.5 % believe the information provided was helpful. Further analysis showed no significant association between gender, marital status, cancer site and stage and the amount of information received. However, age and level of education were associated with DOI such as younger and more educated patients received more information. Older patients were also found to be the most satisfied with the information they received, despite having less access to information.


Although a high proportion of patients were not properly informed about their diagnosis, the overwhelming majority were satisfied with the amount of information they received and believed it was useful, reflecting the complexity of Middle Eastern cultural influences on cancer patients’ perspectives.

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