Objective: The present study established the psychometric properties of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Neutropenia (FACT-N), a self-report instrument to assess neutropenia-specific concerns and health-related quality of life (HRQL), in a sample of adults 65 years of age and older. Materials and methods: Participants were undergoing chemotherapy for lung, breast, or ovarian cancer or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (n=852) and were randomly assigned to receive pegfilgrastim beginning with cycle 1 (primary prophylaxis) or pegfilgrastim subsequent to cycle 1 at their clinicians' discretion (usual care). Participants completed a self-report assessment on day 1 of each cycle (up to six cycles) and at the expected nadir of the white blood cell count of each cycle. Using factor analysis, three subscales were identified in the 19-item FACT-N subscale: Malaise, Worry, and Flu-like symptoms. Results and discussions: The FACT-N and each of the subscales were sensitive to the presence of neutropenia although did not correlate with the absolute neutrophil count (ANC). While ANC is a marker of the impact of chemotherapy on the myeloid precursors of the bone marrow and is correlated with risk of febrile neutropenia, however the constellation of symptoms and patient experience vary throughout the period of neutropenia as the ANC first declines and then recovers. The 19-item neutropenia subscale can be used alone; however, evidence supporting reliability and validity was most robust for aggregate scores from the FACT-N and the Trial Outcome Index-Neutropenia (TOI-N). Conclusion: Understanding the impact of neutropenia on HRQL through the availability of a validated self-report measure will, ideally, lead to interventions to reduce the burden associated with cancer and its treatments.
- Health-related quality of life
- Older adults
- Patient-reported outcomes
- Supportive care
ASJC Scopus subject areas