Anaemia is a common problem for cancer patients and often causes fatigue and reduces quality of life (QoL). Although randomised trials have repeatedly shown that treatment with epoetin alfa raises haemoglobin levels, reduces fatigue and improves overall QoL, such findings may be hard to put into a clinical context and, as a result, cancer-related fatigue remains undertreated. This study gathered data using the FACT-An QoL scale from 1400 people on an internet survey panel. The 1400 were randomly selected and chosen to be representative of the total US population. Survey results were then compared with the findings from a large placebo-controlled study involving 375 anaemic cancer patients. FACT-An showed good psychometric properties in the survey population and was able to distinguish respondents with histories of anemia and cancer from those without. Comparing the population norm values for FACT-An with the trial data showed that treatment with epoetin alfa led to clinically meaningful improvements in cancer patients' QoL.
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