Journal Article Annotations
2016, 1st Quarter
Annotation by William Pirl, MD, FAPM
The finding: Routinely screening for and monitoring physical symptoms may lead to improved quality of life, ER visits, and possibly survival in patients with advanced cancer.
Strength and weaknesses: The major strength of this study is that it is a randomized controlled trial conducted in a large sample of patients. However, it used a general measure of quality of life as its outcome, the EuroQol EQ-5D, rather than an instrument that includes relevant specific symptoms. The study did not collect data on changes in medical care as the result of symptom reports.
Relevance: Regular assessment and monitoring of symptoms can be considered a quality-of-life intervention.