Research Methods: Quality of Life and Patient-Reported Outcome Research in Geriatric Oncology
Both clinical care for and clinical research in older patients with cancer need to define endpoints of treatment. Clinical research in geriatric oncology aims to improve the care for older adults with cancer. When asking older adults with cancer what they consider most important as aim of their treatment, some will focus more on lengths and others more on quality of life. Whereas it is easy to measure length of survival, it is more difficult to measure quality of life. As variety of quality of life assessment instruments is available, some of them are addressing health-related quality of life in general; some are developed in a disease-specific background, such as cancer; and others focus on special types of cancer or special kinds of cancer treatment. In the context of older adults with cancer, geriatric assessment is established to address areas of resources and limitations. Those items of geriatric assessment reported by the patient or demonstrated in performance test should be considered as patient-reported outcomes as well. Results of geriatric assessment and of health-related quality of life are closely related in older adults with cancer.
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