Development of a patient-reported questionnaire for collecting toxicity data following prostate brachytherapy

School of Cancer & Enabling Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
Radiotherapy and Oncology (Impact Factor: 4.36). 10/2010; 97(1):136-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.radonc.2010.05.011
Source: PubMed


To improve a questionnaire used to collect patient-reported outcomes from patients with early stage prostate cancer treated with brachytherapy. A secondary aim was to adapt the Late Effects of Normal Tissue (LENT) subjective toxicity questionnaire for use to collect Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) data, the current preferred platform for assessing radiation toxicity.
Three hundred and seventy-seven patients were treated with permanent iodine-125 seed implant brachytherapy for early prostate cancer. Toxicity data were collected before and at nine time points post-treatment (0-36 months). Compliance rates for patients completing individual items and item-subsection correlation coefficients were calculated. A factor analysis was carried out to analyse responses to the questionnaire and identify less informative questions, which could be removed. Cronbach's α coefficient was used to measure reliability.
Two thousand one hundred and eighty-eight questionnaires were analysed. There was poor compliance for questions specifically relating to operations and bowel medication. We found that the division of the questionnaire into subsections based on anatomical site was reasonable and that certain items could be safely removed. The high mean value for Cronbach's α across all questionnaires (0.752; 95% CI: 0.726-0.779) indicated that the questionnaire was reliable. Fifteen of the 44 questions were removed from the original questionnaires. Questions on urinary incontinence severity, management of urinary and bowel incontinence, effects of reduced flow of urine and the effects of symptoms on activity of daily living and change in sexual function were required to adapt the LENT subjective questionnaire for use to collect CTCAE data.
A questionnaire, validated over 6 years to collect LENT subjective data were adapted and is a reliable approach for collecting CTCAE data after prostate brachytherapy.

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    • "The structure of correlations between different questions were analysed by consideration of factors after Varimax rotation with Kaiser Normalisation. The cut off point for a factor loading to be considered important was taken to be 0.5, a level used elsewhere [22]. Questions with small factor loadings (<0.2) were taken to be unimportant and were omitted. "
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    ABSTRACT: As late radiotherapy toxicity impacts negatively on the quality-of-life of cancer survivors and is often under reported, a study was set up to prospectively collect patient-reported data in an unselected series of patients with gynaecological malignancy. Aim 1 - To provide 3 year results for the longitudinal study. Aim 2 - To improve the questionnaire used to collect data by identifying redundant items and modifying for use to collect Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) data. Aim 1 - Patient reported outcome data were collected prospectively by 226 patients before and up to 3 years following radiotherapy for gynaecological cancer using a questionnaire developed to collect LENT subjective data. Aim 2 - A factor analysis was performed to identify which questions gave the most and least information. Aim 1 - Faecal urgency and incontinence (all grades) peaked at 79% and 24%, respectively at 1 year then settled to 69% and 18% at 3 years, respectively. Urinary urgency (all grades) increased with time and was described in 75% at 3 years. Other symptoms reported at 3 years include diarrhoea in 12%, urinary incontinence in 27% and vaginal dryness in 29%. A third of patients did not feel their sex life had changed following treatment, while a quarter felt that it had. Aim 2 - some questions overlapped and others were non-specific. The questionnaire has subsequently been altered. The extent of late toxicity is substantial. This detailed information is important for both patients and clinicians in terms of treatment decisions and follow-up care. The LENT questionnaire provides a feasible tool for capture of this information in the clinic.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Radiotherapy and Oncology
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    • "Low-level incontinence can develop in some patients many years after radical prostatectomy. Previous research on the incidence of pelvic late effects has documented a substantial increase in the risk of bowel and urinary incontinence, which was mirrored in this cohort where the incidence of long-term effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and bowel dysfunction was substantially higher among the cancer survivors in this population (Farnell et al, 2010; Henson et al, 2011). These may affect cancer survivors closer to diagnosis; however, we did not have longitudinal followup data on this cohort before 2 years post diagnosis (Chen et al, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The community-based incidence of cancer treatment-related long-term consequences is uncertain. We sought to establish the burden of health outcomes that have been associated with treatment among British long-term cancer survivors. We identified 26,213 adults from the General Practice Research Database who have survived 5 years or more following breast, colorectal or prostate cancer. Four age-, sex- and general practice-matched non-cancer controls were selected for each survivor. We considered the incidence of treatment-associated health outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models. Breast cancer survivors had an elevated incidence of heart failure (hazards ratio (HR) 1.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.27-3.01), coronary artery disease (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.11-1.44), hypothyroidism (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.02-1.56) and osteoporosis (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.13-1.40). Among colorectal cancer survivors, there was increased incidence of dementia (HR 1.68, 95% CI 1.20-2.35), diabetes (HR 1.39, 95% CI 1.12-1.72) and osteoporosis (HR 1.41, 95% CI 1.15-1.73). Prostate cancer survivors had the highest risk of osteoporosis (HR 2.49, 95% CI 1.93-3.22). The study confirms the occurrence of increased incidence of chronic illnesses in long-term cancer survivors attributable to underlying lifestyle and/or cancer treatments. Although the absolute risk of the majority of late effects in the cancer survivors cohort is low, identifying prior risk of osteoporosis by bone mineral density scanning for prostate survivors should be considered. There is an urgent need to improve primary care recording of cancer treatment.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · British Journal of Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose The National Cancer Institute’s Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE) is a library of question items that enables patient reporting of adverse events (AEs) in clinical trials. This study contributes content validity evidence of the PRO-CTCAE by incorporating cancer patient input of the relevance and comprehensiveness of the item library. Methods Cognitive interviews were conducted among patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy at multiple sites to evaluate comprehension, memory retrieval, judgment, and response mapping related to AE terms (e.g., nausea), attribute terms (regarding frequency, severity, or interference), response options, and recall period. Three interview rounds were conducted with ≥20 patients completing each item per round. Items were modified and retested if ≥3 patients exhibited cognitive difficulties or if experienced by ≤25 % patients. Results One hundred and twenty-seven patients participated (35 % ≤high school, 28 % non-white, and 59 % female). Most AE terms (63/80) generated no cognitive difficulties. The remaining 17 were modified without further difficulties by Round 3. Terms were comprehended regardless of education level. Attribute terms and response options required no modifications. Patient adherence to recall period (7 days) was improved when the reference period was incorporated. Conclusions This study provides evidence confirming comprehension of the US English language versions of items in the PRO-CTCAE library for measuring symptomatic AEs from the patient perspective within the context of cancer treatment. Several minor changes were made to the items to improve item clarity, comprehension, and ease of response judgment. This study helps to establish the content validity of PRO-CTCAE items for patient reporting of AEs during cancer treatment.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Quality of Life Research
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