A study to develop the EORTC quality of life questionnaire for colorectal cancer

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Cancer type:

Bowel (colorectal) cancer
Colon cancer
Rectal cancer





This study was collecting information to check how well a questionnaire worked in looking at quality of life for people with bowel cancer (colorectal cancer).

As well as testing how well new treatments work, it is important that doctors find out how treatments change people’s daily lives. To do this, doctors design questionnaires to ask people about how they are feeling and what side effects they are having from the cancer and treatment. These are called quality of life questionnaires.

In this study, the researchers asked people to fill in two questionnaires about their symptoms or problems they may have had as a result of their illness or treatment. They also asked for feedback about the questionnaires they filled in.

The aims of this study were to test a new questionnaire about the quality of life of people with bowel cancer. And to find out how good it was and what people thought about it.

Summary of results

The study team found that the questionnaire was good at finding out about the quality of life of people with bowel cancer. And that it was not difficult for people to complete.

This international study recruited 351 people from 7 different countries around the world. The study team asked everyone to complete 3 questionnaires.

The first questionnaire asked generally about how they were feeling. The second one asked in particular about side effects they may have had from treatment for bowel cancer.

The 3rd questionnaire was about the other 2. It asked

  • How long it took to complete them
  • If help was needed to complete them
  • If any part of them was confusing, upsetting or difficult to answer

It took the majority of people less than 15 minutes to complete the first 2 questionnaires. But 28 people out of every 100 (28%) needed some help to complete them.

Of the 351 people, 344 completed the 3rd questionnaire

  • 14 reported that some of the questions were not applicable
  • 36 reported that some questions were too difficult to answer

The study team concluded that the questionnaire was useful to look at the quality of life of people with bowel cancer. And that it should be used in combination with a general quality of life questionnaire for people with bowel cancer.

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Jane Blazeby

Supported by

European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)

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Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle - 583

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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