Replication and validation of higher order models demonstrated that a summary score for the EORTC QLQ-C30 is robust

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Objective To further evaluate the higher order measurement structure of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30), with the aim of generating a summary score. Study Design and Setting Using pretreatment QLQ-C30 data (N = 3,282), we conducted confirmatory factor analyses to test seven previously evaluated higher order models. We compared the summary score(s) derived from the best performing higher order model with the original QLQ-C30 scale scores, using tumor stage, performance status, and change over time (N = 244) as grouping variables. Results Although all models showed acceptable fit, we continued in the interest of parsimony with known-groups validity and responsiveness analyses using a summary score derived from the single higher order factor model. The validity and responsiveness of this QLQ-C30 summary score was equal to, and in many cases superior to the original, underlying QLQ-C30 scale scores. Conclusion Our results provide empirical support for a measurement model for the QLQ-C30 yielding a single summary score. The availability of this summary score can avoid problems with potential type I errors that arise because of multiple testing when making comparisons based on the 15 outcomes generated by this questionnaire and may reduce sample size requirements for health-related quality of life studies using the QLQ-C30 questionnaire when an overall summary score is a relevant primary outcome.




Giesinger, J. M., Kieffer, J. M., Fayers, P. M., Groenvold, M., Petersen, M. A., Scott, N. W., … Aaronson, N. K. (2016). Replication and validation of higher order models demonstrated that a summary score for the EORTC QLQ-C30 is robust. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 69, 79–88.

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