Advances in Defining, Conceptualizing, and Measuring Quality of Life in Pediatric Patients With Cancer

Pamela S. Hinds

Elizabeth A. Burghen

Joan E. Haase

Celeste R. Phillips

ONF 2006, 33(1), 23-29. DOI: 10.1188/06.ONF.S1.23-29

Purpose/Objectives: To describe the notable advances in defining, conceptualizing, and measuring quality of life (QOL) in pediatric patients with cancer since the 1995 Oncology Nursing Society's State-of-the-Knowledge Conference on QOL.

Data Sources: Published research, clinical papers, and hospital policies.

Data Synthesis: QOL ratings from children and adolescents are being solicited increasingly in research and clinical assessments during treatment and survivorship using various methods but are not solicited from terminally ill patients; qualitatively induced models of pediatric cancer-related QOL now are being tested using quantitative methods.

Conclusions: Children aged five years and older are able to report their cancer-related QOL; reliable and valid QOL instruments exist for all phases of treatment except end of life.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses can involve children and adolescents in rating their QOL for research and clinical purposes and can apply theory-based QOL models to direct care.

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