Anorexia/cachexia-related quality of life for children with cancer


Anorexia/cachexia-related quality of life for children with cancer


Lai JS; Cella D; Peterman A; Barocas J; Goldman S







Child; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Prognosis; Questionnaires; Severity of Illness Index; Risk Assessment; Psychometrics; Incidence; Sickness Impact Profile; quality of life; adolescent; Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support; Comparative Study; Nutritional Failure; Age Distribution; Anorexia/diagnosis/epidemiology/psychology/therapy; Cachexia/diagnosis/epidemiology/psychology/therapy; Neoplasms/diagnosis/epidemiology/psychology; Sex Distribution


BACKGROUND: Anorexia is a common symptom in patients with cancer, which can lead to poor tolerance of treatment and can contribute to cachexia in extreme cases. Children with advanced-stage cancer are especially vulnerable to malnutrition resulting from anorexia and cachexia. Currently, there are no instruments that measure common concerns specifically associated with anorexia and cachexia in children with cancer. The purpose of the current article was to test the psychometric properties of a newly developed pediatric Functional Assessment of Anorexia and Cachexia Therapy (peds-FAACT) for children with cancer. METHODS: Ninety-six patients (ages 7-17 yrs) receiving cancer treatment and their parents were asked to complete the 12-item peds-FAACT. The authors implemented both classical test theory and item response theory to evaluate the agreement between parents and patients, internal consistency and unidimensionality of the scale, and stability of items across subgroups. RESULTS: As a result, a patient-reported six-item scale was recommended as the core measure for all pediatric patients with cancer and four additional peripheral items were recommended for adolescent patients. CONCLUSIONS: The peds-FAACT demonstrated good psychometric properties, differentiated patients with different functional performance status, and was determined to be a useful tool for future clinical trials.


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Lai JS; Cella D; Peterman A; Barocas J; Goldman S, “Anorexia/cachexia-related quality of life for children with cancer,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 25, 2023,