This study tested a three-item questionnaire of global quality of life (QOL) and pain in patients commencing radiotherapy, based on items from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 instrument. In pre-test, the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the three-item short questionnaire were administered to 100 patients, yielding similar global QOL and pain scores. After the pre-test, the three-item questionnaire was administered to 1,837 patients prior to first radiotherapy treatment. \ud We identified 254 (13.8%) patients with impaired QOL. These patients had a mean global QOL score of 32.6 compared to 72.4 (p<0.001) found in patients with satisfactory QOL. Patients with impaired QOL were also more likely younger than 60 years and treated for lung, gastrointestinal or head & neck cancer or advanced, metastatic cancer.\ud This brief instrument addresses important aspects of quality of life, is feasible to use in a clinical setting and therefore represents a potentially useful tool for detecting those patients who may benefit from further evaluation and/or psychosocial support
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