BACKGROUND: We validated the new European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Head and Neck Module (EORTC QLQ-HN43).
METHODS: We enrolled 812 patients with head and neck cancer from 18 countries. Group 1 completed the questionnaire before therapy, and 3 and 6 months later. In group 2 (survivors), we determined test-retest reliability using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach's Alpha, the scale structure with confirmatory factor analysis, and discriminant validity with known-group comparisons.
RESULTS: Cronbach's alpha was >0.70 in 10 of the 12 multi-item scales. All standardized factor loadings exceeded 0.40. The ICC was >0.70 in all but two scales. Differences in scale scores between known-groups were >10 points in 17 of the 19 scales. Sensitivity to change was found to be sufficient in 18 scales.
CONCLUSIONS: Evidence supports the reliability and validity of the EORTC QLQ-HN43 as a measure of quality of life.