Distress and quality of life in primary high-grade brain tumor patients

Academic Article


  • Goals of work: We report on the routine use of the NCCN Distress Thermometer and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br) to assess patient distress and quality of life in GBM patients. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between patient quality of life and distress. Materials and methods: Data from 50 GBM patients presenting to a neuro-oncology clinic were evaluated. Descriptive statistics and correlations between the distress score and the FACT-Br subscale scores were generated. Main results: The mean distress score was 2.15 (std 2.66), and 28.9% of brain tumor patients identified a distress score of 4 or above. The mean FACT-Br total was 127.34 (std 21.29), with patients scoring lowest in the EWB (18.95 std 4.4) and FWB (15.06 std 6.80) subscales. No differences between demographic groups were identified with regard to distress or quality of life. Statistically significant correlations were identified between the distress score and the SWB (R∈=∈-0.46, P∈=∈0.001) and EWB (R∈=∈-0.56, P∈=∈0.001) subscales of the FACT-Br. Fifty percent of participants who did not complete the FACT-Br reported clinically significant distress, but this did not differ significantly from participants who completed it. Conclusions: Assessment of distress in brain tumor patients provides clinically relevant information and suggests interventions that may support quality of life. Further research is needed to explore the relationship between distress and quality of life. Current approaches to measuring quality of life in brain tumor patients may systematically undersample patients with advanced illness or significant psychosocial distress. © 2009 US Government.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kvale EA; Murthy R; Taylor R; Lee JY; Nabors LB
  • Start Page

  • 793
  • End Page

  • 799
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 7