PURPOSE: To develop a patient-reported outcome instrument for measuring anemia symptoms and their impact in patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA).
METHODS: Qualitative research was conducted using six focus groups and 24 interviews with 46 CIA patients, eight interviews in patients receiving chemotherapy with no CIA history and two interviews in patients successfully treated for CIA. Atlas.ti 5.0 was used to organize key concepts. Cognitive interviews with 16 CIA patients and assessment of relevance of each item to CIA by 10 clinicians were also conducted to evaluate content validity.
RESULTS: Most CIA patients were white (76%) and female (83%), and the average age was 60 years. The most common cancer types were breast cancer (54%) and lung cancer (17%). Tiredness was the most prevalent symptom and rated as the most important by 83% of CIA patients; weakness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and dizziness were ranked next in importance. The final anemia impact measure (AIM) contains: (1) daily CIA symptom diary (9 items), and (2) impact of CIA-related tiredness (29 items covering daily living activities, social activities, cognitive function, and emotions). Cognitive interviews found that the AIM was relevant and easy to understand.
CONCLUSIONS: The AIM assesses important patient-perceived CIA symptoms and their impact and was developed using extensive patient qualitative data.
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