Objectives: Fatigue is the most common symptom reported by cancer patients. The inclusion of health-related quality of life (HRQL) measures in routine clinical care of cancer patients may improve the management of fatigue. The primary objective of this study is to provide evidence on the magnitude of change in fatigue subscale scores using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue (FACT-F) that is clinically important.
Methods: Consecutive patients with advanced primary lung cancer attending a Canadian tertiary care cancer and, prior to undergoing palliative chemotherapy, were enrolled in the study. Patients completed a battery of questionnaires [FACT-F, Qualitative Patients Self-report of Fatigue Level (QPSRF)] at baseline, follow-up and 2 weeks after their final cycle of chemotherapy. Clinicians assessed the patients using the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status Scale at baseline and each follow-up visit. FACT-F change scores were computed as the mean change in score (end of study score minus baseline score).
Results: A total of 43 patients with mean age of 59 years were enrolled in the study. Results revealed a mean change in FACT-F subscale score of 5.0 (SE 1.06) for those who rated themselves as more tired, 1.28 (SE 1.00) for those who rated themselves as the same (no change), and −1.52 (SE 0.84) for those patients who rated themselves as less tired.
Conclusions: We provide evidence on the magnitude of change in FACT-F score that is associated with the perception by patients of improvement in fatigue and magnitude of change in score that is associated with worsening in fatigue.