Quality of Life in Patients With Lung Cancer: Conclusion

Although there are still deficiencies in both quality of life measurement and research design, this review clearly shows that during the last 25 years, there have been promising developments in many areas of quality of life-related research. For example, there now are several valid instruments to measure quality of life, quality of life is increasingly becoming integrated as part of clinical trials, and quality of life by itself is becoming an issue of interest both for patients and clinicians. Patients themselves have expressed a wish for more emphasis on research into quality of life issues. In contrast, the explosion of so many new instruments without critical appraisal, poor presentation of their data in published articles, complex statistical analyses, and lack of guidelines all can be seen as major causes of confusion. However, these recent developments should not prevent clinicians and oncologists from using the new instruments, provided that they have evaluated them critically. buy asthma inhalers online

The most difficult problem in studies of quality of life come from the many methodologic issues such as data collection, analysis, and barriers to the interpretation of the results. Since these could be counterproductive, there is an urgent need to provide simple and constructive guidelines to help researchers and clinicians in administering these measures.
The role of family, relatives, social life, economic, and leisure time received less attention in quality of life investigations. Focusing only on disease- or treatment-related symptoms makes quality of life studies very limited. There is an urgent need to investigate these issues more comprehensively, since lung cancer patients have indicated that family or leisure times are as important as their health.
Furthermore, communication between clinicians and patients needs to be improved. Understanding lung cancer patients’ feelings and concerns may help to improve the quality of care and the quality of life. There is evidence that patients do not necessarily share clinicians’ priorities or place the same emphasis on different types of morbidity.
In conclusion, while research into quality of life has made substantial progress in a relatively short time, there is an urgent need to include a broader concept of quality of life in future studies despite the methodologic difficulties. At present, comprehensive lung cancer care requires a cyclical process that includes prevention, early detection, specific therapy, improvement in survival, and supportive care strategies. In the future, the real challenge in the management of lung cancer lies in improving quality of life.

Category: Cancer

Tags: chemotherapy, lung cancer, non-small cell lung