You are here

Symptoms, Quality of Life, and Daily Activities in People With Newly Diagnosed Solid Tumors Presenting to a Medical Oncologist.

Thomas S, Walsh D, Shrotriya S, Aktas A, Hullihen B, Estfan B, Budd GT, Hjermstad MJ, O'Connor B.



Symptom and Quality of Life (QOL) data are important patient reported outcomes. Early identification of these is critical for appropriate interventions. Data collection may be helped by modern information technology.


This study examined symptoms and QOL in people with solid tumors at their first visit to a medical oncologist. We also evaluated the clinical utility of tablet computers (TC) to collect this data.


This was a prospective study of 105 consecutive patients in the cancer outpatient clinic of a tertiary level academic medical center. Symptom and QOL data was collected by TC with wireless database upload.


One-third participants had moderate to severe pain; almost half clinically significant pain that interfered with daily activities. Tiredness, anxiety, and drowsiness were common (prevalence - 79%, 63% and 50% respectively). One-third of those who had items identified from the Edmonton System Assessment System also volunteered other symptoms, mostly gastrointestinal problems. Many of those affected also reported impaired Global Wellbeing and low Overall QOL. There was a 98% completion rate, which took on average ten minutes. Direct observation and informal feedback from patients and physicians regarding the acceptability of TC in this setting was uniformly positive.


Amongst people with newly diagnosed solid tumors clinically important psychological and physical symptoms, QOL problems and difficulties with daily activities were commonly present in the 24-hour period and in the week before a first Medical Oncology visit. Symptom and QOL data collection by TC in busy outpatient clinics showed good clinical utility.

Search this site

Stay up-to-date with our monthly e-alert

If you want to regularly receive information on what is happening in Quality of Life in Oncology research sign up to our e-alert.

Subscribe »

QOL (Quality of Life) newsletter e-alert

NEW! Free access to the digital version of a new publication in Cancer Supportive Care

Cancer cachexia: mechanisms and progress in treatment

Authors: Egidio Del Fabbro, Kenneth Fearon, Florian Strasser

This book was supported by an educational grant from Helsinn Healthcare SA.

Featured videos

Quality of Life promotional video

Made possible by an educational grant from Helsinn

Helsinn does not have any influence on the content and all items are subject to independent peer and editorial review

Society Partners

European Cancer Organisation Logo