An evaluation of age-related differences in quality of life preferences in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
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Health related quality of life is an important outcome measure. With aging, patients may experience changes in physical, socioeconomic and psychological functioning. This pilot study examined whether age influences the level of importance that patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma assign to questions addressing aspects of traditional quality of life domains. A questionnaire assessing six domains (physical, appearance, toxicity, social, financial, psychological) with 29 items was given to 76 outpatients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Each question asked how important the content of the item was to the individual. Mean item scores were compared between patients aged < 65 and > 65 years. Reliability ranged from 0.57 (social domain) to 0.83 (physical domain). Test-retest reliability for the entire questionnaire was 0.63. Although there was a suggestion that older patients scored the items relating to faith, appearance to others, intimacy and toxicity trade-offs differently than younger patients, when accounting for multiple comparisons in this study, no apparent differences were seen in any of the items between age groups. It appears that in this group of patients with lymphoma, age does not obviously influence the preferences of patients for items contained in quality of life assessment.
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