Quality of life among advanced cancer patients in Vietnam: a multicenter cross-sectional study

Bui Thanh Huyen, Pham Thi Van Anh, Le Dai Duong, Than Ha Ngoc The, Ping Guo, Pham Van Thuc, Luong Ngoc Khue, Eric L Krakauer, Richard Harding

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Purpose: Cancer is a leading cause of death in Vietnam. To maximize quality of life (QOL) at the end of life, valid and clinically useful instruments are needed to assess palliative care needs and the effectiveness of palliative care interventions. Methods: We aimed to (i) determine psychometric properties of the Vietnamese version of the WHO abbreviated quality of life scale (WHOQOL-BREF VN) among advanced cancer patients, (ii) measure HR-QOL, and (iii) identify predictors of HR-QOL. We collected demographic, clinical, and HR-QOL data from stage III/IV adult cancer patients at two major Vietnamese cancer centers. We determined the internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha), construct validity (confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)), and discriminant validity (known-groups comparison) of the Vietnamese instrument. HR-QOL was analyzed descriptively. Multinomial logistic regressions identified predictors of HR-QOL. Results: A total of 825 patients participated. Missing data were completely at random (MCAR) (chi-square = 14.270, df = 14, p = 0.430). Cronbach’s alpha for all items was 0.904. CFA loadings of physical, psychological, social relationship, and environment domains onto HR-QOL were 0.81, 0.82, 0.34, and 0.75, respectively. Prediction of scores differed significantly by functional status (Wilks’ lambda = 0.784, chi-square = 197.546, df = 4, p < 0.01, correct prediction = 74.6%). HR-QOL was reported as very bad/bad by n = 188 patients (22.8%) and general health as very bad/bad by n = 430 (52.1%). Multinomial logistic regression (likelihood ratio test: chi-square = 35.494, df = 24, p = 0.061, correct prediction = 62.2%) and the Pearson correlations revealed worse HR-QOL was associated with inpatient status, high ECOG score, and having dependent children. Conclusion: The Vietnamese version of the WHOQOL-BREF has excellent internal consistency reliability and sound construct and discriminant validity in advanced cancer patients. Advanced cancer inpatients, those with dependent children, and those with poorer physical function appear to have the greatest palliative care needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from the Open Society Foundations.


  • Cancer; Global health; Palliative care; Quality of life; Vietnam.
  • Global health
  • Vietnam
  • Palliative care
  • Cancer
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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