IBTA acknowledged for assisting Quality of Life research

By 8th April 2016IBTA News
[8 April 2016] The IBTA has been acknowledged for its assistance in research published in the journal Quality of Life Research on 2 April 2016. The newly published report offers insights into how quality of life (QoL) assessments in cancer patients may aid research and improve the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals. Sonja Marjanovic and Sarah Parks, two of the authors of the paper and representatives of the not-for-profit research institute RAND Europe, attended the IBTA Second World Summit of Brain Tumour Patient Advocates, held on 25-27 October 2016, in Sitges, Spain to consult with Summit participants. Representatives of brain tumour patient advocacy organisations at the Summit - who came from 27 countries from across the globe - also assisted in the research effort by completing surveys.

IBTA Summit participants were asked to complete a survey for RAND Europe on quality of life measures.

IBTA Summit participants were asked to complete a survey for RAND Europe on quality of life measures.

The research paper places particular emphasis on brain tumours and notes that the use of life-extending treatments needs to be balanced with the potential negative effects of these treatments. In addition to the IBTA Summit consultation, the researchers conducted a systematic analysis of existing QoL research in cancer patients and examined the different surveys, tests and measures currently being used to assess cancer patient QoL. They also conducted interviews with professionals and brain tumour advocacy groups.

The report, entitled “The use and impact of quality of life assessment tools in clinical care settings for cancer patients, with a particular emphasis on brain cancer: insights from a systematic review and stakeholder consultations”, found that there were no relevant QoL intervention studies for brain cancer patients in the scientific literature, but 15 relevant studies were found when the search was widened to include other cancers. From these existing studies, the authors' analysis found that there was no consistent evidence for whether or not QoL assessments affect patient care. They did, however, find evidence in favour of QoL tools being useful for improving patient–physician communication. The authors conclude that “there is a need for further research and stakeholder engagement on how HRQoL (Health-Related Quality of Life) tools can achieve impact across different cancer and patient group contexts, in real-world settings.”

The full report can be read online here.

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