Background: The aim of this prospective study was to report the quality of life (QoL) of older cancer patients during the first year after diagnosis and factors influencing QoL.
Patients and methods: Newly diagnosed patients aged ≥65 years were recruited for a pilot prospective cohort study at the Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Canada. Participants were interviewed at baseline, and at 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, and 12 months. QoL was assessed at each interview using the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Core Questionnaire with 30 items. Logistic regression was conducted to determine which sociodemographic, health, and functional status characteristics were associated with decline in global health status/QoL between baseline and 12-month follow-up.
Results: There were 112 participants at baseline (response rate 72%), median age of 74.1, and 70% were women. Between baseline and 12-month follow-up (n = 78), 18 participants (23.1%) declined ≥10 points in global health status/QoL, while 34 participants (43.6%) remained stable and 23 participants (33.3%) improved ≥10 points. None of the sociodemographic, health, and functional status variables were associated with decline in logistic regression analyses.
Conclusion: Almost 25% of older adults experienced clinically relevant decline in their QoL. Further research is needed on which factors influence decline in QoL in older adults.