Assessment of factors that contribute to decreased quality of life in gynecologic oncology group ovarian cancer trials

Vivian E. Von Gruenigen, Helen Q. Huang, Karen M. Gil, Heidi E. Gibbons, Bradley J. Monk, Peter G. Rose, Deborah K. Armstrong, David Cella, Lari Wenzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to assess which quality-of-life (QOL) line items on the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Ovarian (FACT-O) were associated with low QOL in women who were receiving chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. METHODS: Patients with stage III or IV ovarian cancer on Gynecologic Oncology Group Protocols 152 and 172 who underwent primary surgery followed by intravenous paclitaxel and cisplatin completed the FACT-O. The FACT scale includes the 4 domains of physical, functional, social, and emotional well being (PWB, FWB, SWB, EWB, respectively). Women who had overall FACT-O scores in the lowest quartile (Q1) were compared with women in the upper 3 quartiles (Q2-Q4). The proportions of women in each group that selected the 2 worst categories for each item were compared. The level of significance was set at P < .005. RESULTS: Before Cycle 4, 361 patients (86.4%) provided valid QOL assessments. For PWB, a significantly greater proportion of women in Q1 versus Q2 through Q4 selected the 2 worst categories of several physical symptoms (nausea, pain, feeling ill, and being bothered by the side effects of treatment). For FWB, significant differences included being able to work, being content with the quality of their life, and sleeping well. For EWB, there were significant differences in feeling nervous and worrying about dying. There were virtually no differences between groups in SWB. Low interest in sex was reported by 56% to 88% of all patients (Q1-Q4). CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of women with FACT-O scores in the lowest quartile reported problems that potentially were amenable to clinical interventions, such as symptom management and psychosocial support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4857-4864
Number of pages8
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2009


  • Clinical interventions
  • Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy
  • Psychosocial support
  • Quality-of-life domains
  • Symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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