Prognostic value of quality of life scores in terminal cancer patients

Marcello Tamburini, Cinzia Brunelli, Stefano Rosso, Vittorio Ventafridda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A multicenter cross-sectional study of 115 terminal cancer patients in eight home-care units assessed the prognostic value of quality of life scores, as measured by the Therapy Impact Questionnaire (TIQ). The analysis of the questionnaires completed by 100 patients revealed an association between survival and many of the scales: fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, global health status, functional impairment, emotional status, and cognitive status. This association was also observed for some specific physical symptoms, such as confusion, weakness, and loss of appetite, and the overall number of symptoms reported by the patient. Adjusting for some possible confounding factors, only confusion (among the physical symptoms), cognitive status, and global health status (among TIQ primary scales) showed independent prognostic value. As regards the latter two scales, median survival time was distributed differently for patients with no impairment of either (137 days), with impairment of one scale (50 days) and with impairment of both scales (17 days). The judgment expressed by the patient about subjective perception of general malaise and cognitive difficulties can give the clinician important prognostic information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-41
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996


  • Assessment
  • palliative care
  • prognostic factors
  • questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Nursing(all)


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