Supportive Care In Cancer 2018 February [Epub ahead of print] [Link]
Gelhorn H et. al.
Obtaining qualitative data directly from the patient perspective enhances the content validity of patient-reported outcome (PRO) instruments. The objective of this qualitative study was to evaluate the content validity of the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale for Mesothelioma (LCSS-Meso) and its usability on an electronic device.
A cross-sectional methodological study, using a qualitative approach, was conducted among patients recruited from four clinical sites. The primary target population included patients with pleural mesothelioma; data were also collected from patients with peritoneal mesothelioma on an exploratory basis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted consisting of concept elicitation, cognitive interviewing, and evaluation of electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) usability.
Participants (n = 21) were interviewed in person (n = 9) or by telephone (n = 12); 71% were male with a mean age of 69 years (SD = 14). The most common signs and symptoms experienced by participants with pleural mesothelioma (n = 18) were shortness of breath, fluid build-up, pain, fatigue, coughing, and appetite loss. The most commonly described symptoms for those with peritoneal mesothelioma (n = 4) were bloating, changes in appetite, fatigue, fluid build-up, shortness of breath, and pain. Participants with pleural mesothelioma commonly described symptoms assessed by the LCSS-Meso in language consistent with the questionnaire and a majority understood and easily completed each of the items. The ePRO version was easy to use, and there was no evidence that the electronic formatting changed the way participants responded to the questions.
Results support the content validity of the LCSS-Meso and the usability of the electronic format for use in assessing symptoms among patients with pleural mesothelioma.