Minimal clinically meaningful differences for the EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-BN20 scales in brain cancer patients

J. Maringwa*, C. Quinten, M. King, J. Ringash, D. Osoba, C. Coens, F. Martinelli, B. B. Reeve, C. Gotay, E. Greimel, H. Flechtner, C. S. Cleeland, J. Schmucker-Von Koch, J. Weis, M. J. Van Den Bent, R. Stupp, M. J. Taphoorn, A. Bottomley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Background: We aimed to determine the smallest changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores in the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire core 30 and the Brain Cancer Module (QLQ-BN20), which could be considered as clinically meaningful in brain cancer patients. Materials and methods: World Health Organisation performance status (PS) and mini-mental state examination (MMSE) were used as clinical anchors appropriate to related subscales to determine the minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs) in HRQoL change scores (range 0-100) in the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BN20. A threshold of 0.2 standard deviation (SD) (small effect) was used to exclude anchor-based MCID estimates considered too small to inform interpretation. Results: Based on PS, our findings support the following integer estimates of the MCID for improvement and deterioration, respectively: physical (6, 9), role (14, 12), and cognitive functioning (8, 8); global health status (7, 4*), fatigue (12, 9), and motor dysfunction (4*, 5). Anchoring with MMSE, cognitive functioning MCID estimates for improvement and deterioration were (11, 2*) and for communication deficit were (9, 7). Estimates with asterisks were <0.2 SD and were excluded from our MCID range of 5-14. Conclusion: These estimates can help clinicians evaluate changes in HRQoL over time, assess the value of a health care intervention and can be useful in determining sample sizes in designing future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2107-2112
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Anchoring
  • Deterioration
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Improvement
  • Minimal clinically important difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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