Background: Patients with cancer who are treated with immune checkpoint modulators (ICMs) have their health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measured using general patient-reported outcome (PRO) tools. To the authors' knowledge, no instrument has been developed to date specifically for patients treated with ICMs. The objective of the current study was to develop a toxicity subscale PRO instrument for patients treated with ICMs to assess HRQOL. Methods: Input was collected from a systematic review as well as patients and physicians experienced with ICM treatment. Descriptive thematic analysis was used to evaluate the qualitative data obtained from patient focus groups and interviews, which informed an initial list of items that described ICM side effects and their impact on HRQOL. These inputs informed item generation and/or reduction to develop a toxicity subscale. Results: Focus groups and individual interviews with 37 ICM-treated patients generated an initial list of 176 items. After a first round of item reduction that produced a shortened list of 76 items, 16 physicians who care for patients who are treated with ICMs were surveyed with a list of 49 patient-reported side effects and 11 physicians participated in follow-up interviews. A second round of item reduction was informed by the physician responses to produce a list of 25 items. Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge, this 25-item list is the first HRQOL-focused toxicity subscale for patients treated with ICMs and was developed in accordance with US Food and Drug Administration guidelines, which prioritize patient input in developing PRO tools. The subscale will be combined with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–General (FACT-G) to form the FACT-ICM. Prior to recommending the formal use of this PRO instrument, the authors will evaluate its validity and reliability in longitudinal studies involving substantially more patients.
- costimulatory antibodies
- health-related quality of life (HRQOL)
- immune checkpoint inhibitor
- patient-reported outcomes (PROs)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research