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Jennifer R. Brown, MD, PhD


Newly Developed Health-Related Quality-of-Life Questionnaire for CLL Treatment Decision-Making

By: Julia Fiederlein
Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2022

The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality-of-Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) is frequently used to assess health-related quality of life; however, according to Simone Oerlemans, PhD, of The Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation, Utrecht, and colleagues, it does not adequately address the disease- and treatment-specific symptoms and worries among patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The results of a large-scale international study of the CLL-specific EORTC QLQ-CLL17, which were published in the British Journal of Haematology, support its psychometric properties as a supplementary measure.

“[The use of the QLQ-CLL17] in conjunction with the QLQ-C30 makes it feasible to assess symptoms and health-related quality of life among patients with CLL and to respond to new issues resulting from the ongoing development and provision of new therapeutics for these patients,” the investigators commented. “Its use in clinical research and practice will generate clinically relevant data to be used for better-informed CLL treatment decision-making.”

A total of 341 patients with CLL from 12 countries completed the QLQ-C30, QLQ-CLL17, and a debriefing questionnaire. The QLQ-CLL17 consists of 17 items divided into 3 hypothesized multi-item subscales: symptom burden due to disease and/or treatment; physical condition or fatigue; and worries or fears about health and functioning.

The percentage of patients who reported symptoms and/or worries ranged from 30% to 66%. Based on a confirmatory factor analysis, the questionnaire exhibited an acceptable-to-good model-data fit. The average completion time was 8 minutes. According to the investigators, the questionnaire demonstrated test-retest and convergent validity. It also discriminated between subgroups of patients based on their Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score (0 vs. 1–3); this further supported the validity of the questionnaire.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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