Health Related Quality of Life in Mesothelioma — ASN Events

Health Related Quality of Life in Mesothelioma (#335)

Jason Fowler 1 , Haryana Dhillon 2 , Steven Kao 1 3 , Joseph Coll 4 , Melanie Price 4 , Janette Vardy 1 2 5
  1. Asbestos Disease Research Institute, University of Sydney, Concord, NSW, Australia
  2. Centre for Evidence-based decision making and medical psychology (CeMPED), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. Psycho-Oncology Cooperative Research Group (PoCOG), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Au
  5. Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, NSW, Australia

Background: Malignant Mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive neoplasm with a poor prognosis and high symptom burden1 . At diagnosis, people with MM frequently report dyspnoea, fatigue, chest-pain and weight loss2 . Anxiety and depression are common, and show strong associations with other patient-reported symptoms3 . Research also suggests that high levels of unmet supportive care needs exacerbate psychological distress and symptom burden4 . Despite these concerns, there are a paucity of data describing health related quality of life (HQoL) in people with MM. 

Aim: Our aim is to describe the symptoms, quality of life and supportive care needs of people diagnosed with MM. Additionally, we aim to describe the nutritional and functional status of people with MM, and to assess the relationship between psychological factors (anxiety and depression) and health related quality of life and other outcomes. 


Design: A prospective, longitudinal cohort study.

Population: People diagnosed with MM, across all stages of disease. The study will actively recruit participants from participating hospitals across Australia. It is anticipated that 200 patients can be recruited over two years. Participants will be followed for two years, or until death, whichever occurs first.

Assessments: Participants will be assessed at baseline, regular follow up intervals (6-12 weeks), and when their disease or treatment status changes. 

Baseline assessment includes clinical information (clinical exam, weight, routine blood test results) and self-report questionnaires including general and disease specific HQoL, anxiety and depression, and supportive care needs. Baseline levels of health literacy will also be assessed. Self-report measures and optional study components will be repeated at follow up.

Optional components: For those consenting to the optional components, the following assessments will apply: blood sample collection (examining inflammatory biomarkers), nutritional assessment (self report and physician assessments) and a functional assessment (6 minute walk test). 

Status: HREC approval pending, recruitment due to commence during 2013.

  1. Musk A, Woodward S: Conventional treatment and its effect on survival of malignant pleural mesothelioma in Western Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine 12:229-232, 1982
  2. Nowak AK, Stockler MR, Byrne MJ: Assessing Quality of Life During Chemotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Feasibility, Validity, and Results of Using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Quality of Life Questionnaire and Lung Cancer Module. Journal of Clinical Oncology 22:3172-3180, 2004
  3. Block SD: Psychological issues in end-of-life care. Journal of palliative medicine 9:751-772, 2006
  4. Hughes N, Arber A: The lived experience of patients with pleural mesothelioma. International Journal of Palliative Nursing 14:66-71, 2008