Research Article| Volume 33, SUPPLEMENT 4, S31-S34, May 1997

Quality of life as an outcome in EORTC clinical trials

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      In the past decade, increasing attention is being given to more systematic and quantitative ways to evaluate explicitly the impact of diseases and medical interventions on quality of life. A substantial part of this research pertains to the field of cancer where cure is not always possible and treatments are mostly intrusive. In recent years it has become more acceptable to include a quality of life (mostly as a secondary) outcome measure in cancer clinical trials. It is for this reason that quality of life as an outcome measure was discussed at the conference on ‘Cancer Research and Treatment — Towards the 21st Century’ in Heidelberg. The presentation highlighted the present situation, current problems, and future perspectives of quality of life research in cancer care within Europe. The following text is a section from ‘A Practical Guide to EORTC Studies’, which describes some of the issues involved in the use of quality of life assessment in clinical trials from the perspective of the EORTC.
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