Test developed to measure QoL in bladder cancer patients

May 20, 2006

Researchers from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor havedeveloped and validated a new questionnaire to assesshealth-related quality of life outcomes among patients treated forbladder cancer, it was reported here yesterday.

Researchers from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor have developed and validated a new questionnaire to assess health-related quality of life outcomes among patients treated for bladder cancer, it was reported here yesterday.

The questionnaire, known as the Bladder Cancer Index (BCI), covers all forms of urinary diversion and is valid for both genders.

"Measuring quality of life requires thoughtful development with considerations of clinical relevance and psychometric properties," said lead author John T. Wei, MD.

The BCI, a six-domain, 34-question instrument, measures urinary, sexual, and bowel symptoms and is appropriate for comparing quality of life among various treatments.

The 316 patients in the study each completed the BCI and were stratified by four different treatment methods: cystectomy/neobladder, cystectomy/ileal conduit, cystoscopy/intravesical therapy, and cystoscopy/no intravesical therapy.

Urinary domain scores were significantly lower (suggesting a lower health status) for the cystectomy/neobladder group versus other groups.

Dr. Wei acknowledged that while a validated questionnaire is the best way to assess quality of life, clinicians may be challenged to find ways to efficiently incorporate them into their practices, given time constraints and the availability of resources.