Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with cancer and other concurrent illnesses

Barbara A. Elliott, Colleen M. Renier, Irina V. Haller, Thomas E. Elliott

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14 Scopus citations


This study analyzed the impact of eight common chronic medical conditions on cancer patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) as measured by the functional living index-cancer (FLIC). The FLIC was administered to a population of 405 people in 14 communities in the North Central US within 4-8 weeks of diagnosis with breast or colorectal cancer. At that time, patients also self-reported any other health conditions for which they had been receiving medical treatment. The impact of the selected chronic conditions on the FLIC scores was analyzed using Student's t-tests and linear multiple regression. In the bivariate analysis, patients with heart/circulation problems had lower FLIC total scores (p < 0.05), physical well-being subscale scores (p < 0.05), and nausea subscale scores (p < 0.01). Patients with diabetes had lower nausea subscale scores (p < 0.05). The social well-being subscale score was higher with the report of arthritis/joint problems (p = 0.001). In multivariate analysis adjusted for age, arthritis/joint problems were predictive of the social well-being (p < 0.01) and hardship due to cancer (p < 0.05) subscale scores; heart/circulation problems (p < 0.001) and diabetes were predictive of the nausea subscale scores. ECOG performance status was significant predictor for the FLIC total and all of the subscale scores. HRQoL as measured with the FLIC scores in patients with cancer is impacted by the presence of other concurrent health conditions; this finding has implications for HRQoL theory and application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cancer
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Quality of life


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