Home > Issue 1 (Volume 6) > Quality of life and cancer patient (part III): proxy assessment of patient quality of life


Introduction. Cancer patients face a wide breadth of physical and psychosocial tension which affects their QoL. Using the proxies as an alternative source of information, when self-evaluation is not obtainable, can offer valuable information about the patients’ condition and the decision-making concerning their care. The present review is the third part of the feature about cancer patients’ QoL.

The aim of this review is to present the bibliography that deal with the evaluation of the QoL from a proxy and to report possible interpretations dealing with the proxy’s disagreement over the QoL evaluation.

Review of the literature. The writing of the article was completed after reviewing international and Greek bibliography of the last thirty years which deals with the proxy’s evaluation of the QoL and the factors that can affect it. The bibliography length concerning these two factors is characterized as highly heterogenic in its methodology, producing a variety of results.

Conclusions. Formal and informal caregivers are often called to evaluate cancer patients’ QoL and its dimensions due to the patients’ frail condition. Studies are trying to interpret using various tools the patients and proxies’ agreement and disagreement concerning the evaluations of the QoL. The results vary as to the extent of the agreement and the dimensions of the quality where the agreement is observed. Researchers must evaluate results with a critical reflection and speculation, they must be aware of the factors that can influence the proxies’ judgment and proceed to individualized interventions that would improve the patient’s QoL in every stage of the disease.

Key words: quality of life, proxy assessment, patient-proxy agreement, formal caregiver, informal caregiver

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