A significant proportion of lung cancer patients depend on palliative care, hence it is imperative to evaluate and maintain a satisfactory quality of life (QoL) in them. However, data with regard to India patients is sparce. Quality of life was assessed in newly diagnosed patients with lung cancer and its relationship with pre-treatment clinical parameters and respiratory status was studied.
A 30-item, self-administered European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 (version 3) questionnaire in Hindi was used. Clinical symptoms, Karnofsky performance status (KPS), and measures of respiratory status (including spirometry) were recorded.
The study included 93 patients (76 males, 80% smokers) with a mean (SD) age of 57.2 (11.0) years. 90% had non- small cell lung cancer. Median KPS was 70 (range, 50-90). Median number of symptoms was 4 (range, 1-7). Lowest scores were seen in the global health status and physical function scales (Table). Fatigue, appetite loss and pain scored highest among symptom scales. Higher KPS significantly correlated with better global health status (p<0.001) and healthy level of functioning (p<0.001). The number of symptoms was significantly associated with global QoL (p=0.04) and physical, role, emotional and cognitive function scales (p<0.05); however individual respiratory symptoms showed no correlation with QoL. Forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 second and peak expiratory flow rate showed positive correlation with all functional scales (p<0.05) except social scale. Age, gender, smoking status, pack years, histological type and symptom duration had no influence on QoL.
Patients with lung cancer have unsatisfactory quality of life, with the global health status and physical functions being most affected. Number of symptoms, performance status, and pulmonary functions has a significant bearing on quality of life.
Appropriate attempts to improve symptoms and augment respiratory capacity may improve quality of life in lung cancer.
Mean (SD) EORTC- QLQ C30 ScoresDomainMean Score (SD)Global Health Status39.0 (20.9)Physical Function48.7 (27.2)Role Function56.5 (33.5)Emotional Function57.3 (28.6)Cognitive Function69.8 (28.7)Social Function66.1 (30.8)
Anant Mohan, None.