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Dr Laura Long Outlines the Difficulty of Measuring Quality of Life

Measuring quality of life in oncology care is difficult for a number of reasons, but Laura Long, MD, MPH, president at TheLongView, PC, expects that to change in the future.


Measuring quality of life in oncology care is difficult for a number of reasons, but Laura Long, MD, MPH, president at TheLongView, PC, expects that to change in the future.

Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

Why is quality of life so difficult to measure and will that change in the future?

Quality of life is difficult to measure in oncology care bceause what is the definition of quality in life? It's a very individual definition. What might be quality to you may not be the same thing for somebody else. And it's also softer—we're used to being scientists and looking at the concrete answers to these types of questions and this is more of a softer science, an inexact science. We don't have the level of comfort with it that we have with typical clinical endpoints in research trials. So I think those issues contribute to making quality of life harder to measure, because it's individualized and it's softer endpoints and we don't have as much experience with it.

I do think is going to change in the future. As we draw the focus back onto the patient and focus on team-based care and patient-focused care, we're going to understand that what really matters at the end of the day is how does the patient feel about the care they have received? How does their family feel about it? So I'm very excited about the future in oncology and in medicine in general, because I think we're talking about the right thing. We're talking about patients and how they feel about their care and whether they're getting the care that they want.

 
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