Assessment of health status in survivors of cancer.
The health status of 48 survivors of cancer was assessed using a rating system for six attributes: senses, mobility, emotion, cognition, self care, and pain. Paired assessments were made by doctors and patients (or their parents, or both) at routine clinic attendances. Sixteen (33%) assessments by the patient/parent and 19 (40%) assessments by the doctor identified no deficits in health status. The doctors identified fewer deficits in all attributes than the patients/parents, the differences being most marked for subjective attributes. Health status index scores on a scale of 0 (worst health state) to 1 (perfect health) were derived from the rating system and showed good overall agreement between the doctors and the patients/parents. Survivors of neuroaxial tumours tended to have lower scores than other diagnostic groups. This simple, compact system could be used in clinical trials to compare treatment strategies in terms of the health status of survivors. It could also be a valuable tool in the assessment of health status in other areas of paediatrics.