Original Research

The choice of an appropriate questionnaire for quality of life studies in South African women with cervical cancer

George du Toit
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 34, No 1 | a1248 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v34i1.1248 | © 2015 George du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 August 2014 | Published: 30 April 2015

About the author(s)

George du Toit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Stellenbosch University,, South Africa

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Cervical cancer is one of the commonest cancers among South African women. In the absence of an adequate, preventative cervical cytology programme, the majority of women present with an advanced stage of disease. Despite treatment, the prognosis for these women is poor. Furthermore, HIV and AIDS impacts adversely on the treatment of cervical cancer, whereas cervical cancer and its treatment again affect the quality of life. Objective assessment of the quality of life can improve treatment and supportive care. The current study was done to identify the most appropriate questionnaire to assess the quality of life experienced by South African women with cervical cancer. The European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy Measurement System (FACIT) questionnaires are the most commonly used for assessment of the quality of life patients with cancer have. The current study assessed the appropriateness of these questionnaires for use in South Africa on the following criteria: study structure (prospective or transverse), quality of life endpoint (primary or secondary), timing of assessment during disease process and the nationalities of the study populations. The EORTC questionnaire was identified as the most appropriate for application to South African women with cervical cancer.




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