Identification of metastatic disease progression is often difficult but important. Previous studies of quality of life in metastatic disease have been limited by the small number of respondents who were not white or of lower socioeconomic status. Quality of life assessment is generally done using self-administration techniques but this method is of limited usefulness for patients of low socioeconomic status, many of whom have limited reading abilities. We evaluated the feasibility and validity of interviewer administration of 3 quality of life instruments for patients of low socioeconomic status with metastatic prostate cancer.Materials and Methods
We used instruments previously validated with self-administration methodology, including the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Quality of Life Questionnaire-30, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General Scale and Quality of Life Index. Subjects were men with metastatic prostate cancer with stable (78) or progressive (32) disease at 4 Veterans Affairs medical centers and 1 other site. Of the patients 94% were Veterans Affairs patients and more than 60% were black.Results
Each quality of life instrument required less than 10 minutes of interviewer administration and was able to discriminate between patients with stable versus progressive disease on several health status domains.Conclusions
These data support the feasibility and validity of quality of life measurement in patients of low socioeconomic status with metastatic prostate cancer. Consideration should be given to adding quality of life instruments to patient encounter even among low socioeconomic status, low literacy populations.