Responsiveness and minimal important score differences in quality of life questionnaires: A comparison of the EORTC QLQ-C30 cancer specific instrument to the generic utility instruments EQ-5D and 15D in patients with multiple myeloma

Ann Kristin Kvam (Corresponding Author), Peter Fayers, Finn Wisloff

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Objectives: The aims of this study were to (i) compare the responsiveness of the EORTC QLQ-C30 can-cer-specific questionnaire and the generic questionnaires EQ-5D and 15D used for economic evaluation ofhealthcare interventions and (ii) determine the minimal important differences (MIDs) in these question-naires. The MID is the smallest change in a quality-of-life score considered important to patients. Methods:Between 2006 and 2008, 239 patients with multiple myeloma completed the questionnaires at inclusion(T1) and after 3 months (T2). At T2, patients were asked whether they had noticed any change in theirquality of life. Responsiveness and MIDs were determined by mean score changes (T2–T1) for patientswho, in the interview, stated they had improved, deteriorated, or were unchanged. Responsiveness wasalso assessed using standardized response means. Wilcoxon tests for pair differences were used to evalu-ate the statistical significance of the changes. Results: Patients who improved had significantly (P < 0.01)higher scores at T2 in all three questionnaires. Patients who deteriorated reported lower scores at T2;however, for the 15D, the differences in score were not statistically significant. The MIDs for the QLQ-C30, EQ-5D, and 15D were 8, 0.08, and 0.03 in patients who improved and 12, 0.10 and 0.02 in patientswho deteriorated, respectively. Conclusions: All three questionnaires showed an acceptable responsive-ness in patients who improved. However, the 15D did not respond optimally in patients who deteriorateand cannot be recommended for use in patients with myeloma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Issue number4
Early online date26 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011



  • Multiple myleoma
  • Health related quality of life
  • responsiveness
  • minimal important difference
  • EQ-5D
  • 15D

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