Gender Neutral
Type Module
Testing Phase IV - completed
Principal investigator(s)
Susanne Singer
University of Mainz
Mainz, Germany

Project summary

Background: Thyroid cancer and its treatments affect quality of life (QoL) across a variety of domains. The EORTC Quality of Life Group therefore developed a module specifically for this group of patients. This development started in 2013 with the identification of potential QoL issues and then testing their relevance to patients and health care providers (phase I and II). In 2015 and 2016, the provisional module was pilot tested (phase III) among 182 thyroid cancer patients. Now, the final validation (phase IV) was performed.
Objectives: The aim of the present study was to validate the EORTC QLQ-THY34 in a large international field study and to investigate the psychometric properties of its scales.
We investigated
– cross-cultural applicability and acceptability
– scale structure
– reliability, including test-retest and internal consistency
– validity, including construct, divergent and convergent validity
– sensitivity to change, responsiveness
– minimally important difference
– cross-cultural consistency of psychometric properties
Procedures: The EORTC QLQ-THY34 was administered to two groups of patients with thyroid cancer. Patients in Group 1 were approached three times to measure sensitivity to change. The data collection took place before treatment starts (t1), 6 weeks after the first day of initial treatment (t2), and 6 months after t2 (t3). Patients in Group 2 completed the questionnaires once (t1) (a minimum of 24 months post diagnosis) and a second time 1 week later (t2) to measure test-retest reliability.


Data collection and analysis is completed. The Phase IV report has been submitted to the Project and Module Development Committee (PMDC) for review.

Current status:
We are currently writing up the results for publication.

Future plans

We hope to get feedback from the PMDC by the end of the summer. After the report is endorsed, the module can be considered to be validated.

For patients

We want to be able to tell how a patient who has thyroid cancer experiences his or her quality of life.
To be able to do that, we created a questionnaire. This is important for clinical studies because responses from different patients can then be combined easily, and the voice of the patients is heard. A group of experts from 20 countries worked on it together. We asked more than 400 patients with thyroid cancer how they feel about their life.