Quality of life questionnaires for children with cancer and childhood cancer survivors: a review of the development of available measures
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OBJECTIVE: To identify and appraise all published quality of life (QOL) measures developed for use with children with cancer and childhood cancer survivors. METHODS: MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CancerLit, and Sociological Abstracts were searched from the inception of each database to 15 June 2009. Included articles were ones that described the development and/or psychometric evaluation of a QOL measure developed for use with children with cancer or childhood cancer survivors. Articles were appraised for adherence to internationally recommended guidelines for item generation, item reduction, and psychometric evaluation. RESULTS: Thirteen QOL questionnaires were identified by our search. Eleven measures are applicable to measuring QOL in children with any type of cancer, and two are specific to children with brain cancer. Four measures can be used to measure QOL in children undergoing cancer treatment, six can be used with children on or off treatment, and three are specific to childhood cancer survivors. While all measures underwent some degree of formal development and validation, item generation often did not involve children with cancer or their parents, and a number of measures did not describe or utilize recommended methods for item reduction and psychometric evaluation. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the measures identified in this review were designed to measure QOL concerns of children with any type of cancer and at any time, during treatment or survivorship. Our findings can help researchers and clinicians identify scientifically sound measures.
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