A new index of priority symptoms in advanced ovarian cancer

Sally E. Jensen, Sarah K. Rosenbloom, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Amy Abernethy, Paul B. Jacobsen, Karen Syrjala, David Cella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective.: This study sought to develop and examine preliminary validity of the NCCN-FACT Ovarian Symptom Index-18 (NFOSI-18), a new ovarian cancer-specific symptom index comprised of symptoms rated as highest priority by both oncology clinical experts and women with advanced ovarian cancer. Methods.: Fifty-one women with advanced ovarian cancer rated the importance of 30 symptoms associated with advanced ovarian cancer. Ten gynecologic oncologists then rated symptoms according to whether they were predominantly disease- or treatment-related. Patient priorities were then reconciled with previously-published clinician priorities for symptom measurement in ovarian cancer. This produced the NFOSI-18. Participants also completed measures of quality of life and performance status to examine preliminary validity of the NFOSI-18. Results.: An 18-item symptom index for advanced ovarian cancer was developed, including three subscales: disease-related symptoms, treatment-related symptoms, and general function/well-being. Lower NFOSI-18 scores indicate greater high-priority symptom burden. Preliminary reliability suggests good internal consistency (α = 0.80). The NFOSI-18 and its subscales were significantly positively associated with quality of life validity criteria. Scores on the NFOSI-18 differed significantly by performance status, with poor performance status associated with lower NFOSI-18 scores. Conclusions.: The NFOSI-18 shows preliminary evidence for reliability and validity as a brief assessment of the most important symptoms associated with treatment for advanced ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Symptom Index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Oncology


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