Comparison of the EORTC QLQ-BN20 and the FACT-Br quality of life questionnaires for patients with primary brain cancers: A literature review

Ronald Chow, Nicholas Lao, Marko Popovic, Edward Chow*, David Cella, Jennifer Beaumont, Henry Lam, Natalie Pulenzas, Gillian Bedard, Erin Wong, Carlo DeAngelis, Andrew Bottomley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: This review compares and contrasts the development, validity, and characteristics of two quality of life (QOL) assessment tools used in patients with primary brain cancers: the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Brain Cancer Module (EORTC QLQ-BN20) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br). Methods: Aliterature search was conducted using the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (June 2013), Ovid EMBASE (1947 to 2013, week 27), and Ovid MEDLINE (1946 to July 2013, week 1) to identify studies that discussed the development, characteristics, validity, and reliability of the EORTC QLQ-BN20 or the FACT-Br. Results: The EORTC QLQ-BN20 consists of 20 items that assess future uncertainty, visual disorder, motor dysfunction, and communication deficit. Items are presented as questions on a scale ranging from 1="not at all" to 4="very much." Reliability and validity testing of the QLQ-BN20 revealed a Cronbach's alpha coefficient that ranged from 0.71 to 0.90. The FACT-Br consists of 23 items that assess general well-being and brain cancer-specific concerns that include concentration, memory, seizures, eyesight, hearing, speech, personality, expression of thoughts, weakness, coordination, and headaches. These items are presented as statements on a scale ranging from 0="not applicable" to 4="extremely relevant." The FACT-Br underwent validity as well as testretest reliability testing with 101 and 46 patients, respectively. Validity testing found low to moderate correlation with the FACT-G questionnaire, while reliability testing for the brain subscale revealed an acceptable correlation coefficient (r=0.66; p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2593-2598
Number of pages6
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Assessment
  • Brain cancer
  • FACT-Br
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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