Self‐reported comprehensive health status of adult brain tumor patients using the Health Utilities Index
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BACKGROUND: The comprehensive health status of adult survivors of brain tumors is largely unexplored. METHODS: Using a multiattribute approach embodied in a 15-item self-assessment questionnaire, the overall burden of morbidity was measured in 50 brain tumor patients who were attending a neurooncology outpatient clinic. The comprehensive health status was accorded utility scores, and comparisons were made with health status measurements of the general population. RESULTS: The questionnaire was completed with ease by 90% of the respondents. Among the respondents, only 10% of the patients did not report some form of morbidity, and 80% reported multiple impairments. The most prevalent impairments occurred in the attributes of sensation, emotion, and cognition (in this predominantly ambulant group); each of these elements was limited in the majority of patients. A surprising finding was the self-report of pain by nearly 50% of the respondents. CONCLUSIONS: In this group of patients, the burden of morbidity and its complexity greatly exceeded that reported for the general population and were inadequately revealed by Karnofsky performance scores. The use of multiattribute health status measurement tools offers numerous advantages and should be employed in the routine clinical management of cancer patients.
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