Background: Co-operative groups have played an important role in the advance of health-related quality of life (HRQL) research. However, definitions of the concept, criteria for selection of existing instruments and methods for data collection and interpretation remain poorly defined in the literature. A survey was conducted amongst the major cancer co-operative groups in order to gain a better understanding of their current policy and processes to ensure optimal HRQL data collection within cancer clinical trials. The topic of health economics was similarly addressed. Methods: A written questionnaire was addressed to 16 major European and North American cancer co-operative groups. Eleven groups responded (response rate: 69%), however, one group could not provide information for the survey, thus ten questionnaires were available for analysis. Results: The results from this survey among co-operative groups show that HRQL (more than health economics) is recognized as an important, although usually secondary, outcome measure in oncology trials. On the whole, co-operative groups have a rather flexible policy towards the inclusion of HRQL (and HE) into their clinical trials, and practice is very much on a case-by-case basis, but use standard practice guidelines and internal procedures is to ensure well-defined study protocols and enhance good quality studies.
- Co-operative group
- Health economics
- Quality of life
- Randomized controlled clinical trials
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health