Reasons for Non-Completion of Health Related Quality of Life Evaluations in Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Report from the Children's Oncology Group

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Background:Health related quality of life (HRQL) assessments during therapy for pediatric cancer are important. The objective of this study was to describe reasons for failure to provide HRQL assessments during a pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) clinical trial.Methods:We focused on HRQL assessments embedded in a multicenter pediatric AML clinical trial. The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales, PedsQL 3.0 Acute Cancer Module, PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale, and Pediatric Inventory for Parents were obtained from parent/guardian respondents at a maximum of six time points. Children provided self-report optionally. A central study coordinator contacted sites with delinquent HRQL data. Reasons for failure to submit the HRQL assessments were evaluated by three pediatric oncologists and themes were generated using thematic analysis.Results:There were 906 completed and 1091 potential assessments included in this analysis (83%). The median age of included children was 12.9 years (range 2.0 to 18.9). The five themes for non-completion were: patient too ill; passive or active refusal by respondent; developmental delay; logistical challenges; and poor knowledge of study processes from both the respondent and institutional perspective.Conclusions:We identified reasons for non-completion of HRQL assessments during active therapy. This information will facilitate recommendations to improve study processes and future HRQL study designs to maximize response rates. © 2013 Johnston et al.

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