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.