Quality of Life and Disability Questionnaires

To further determine the effects of a patient's pain on his/her quality of life, questionnaires such as the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), the Short Form 36 (SF-36), and the Fact G may prove useful. The ODI consists of ten questions that investigate the patient's pain intensity, personal care, lifting, walking, sitting, standing, sleeping, sex and social life, and traveling; the higher the patient's score, the greater that individual's disability. Studies have shown that the ODI is an easy, comprehensive pain assessment tool that provides a means to monitor an individual's pain.

In contrast to the ODI, the SF-36 assesses eight different health domains: physical and social functioning, role limitations to physical and emotional problems, bodily pain, vitality, general health perception, and mental health. Each item is scored on a scale from 0 to 100 with higher scores indicating better health. The ability to quickly complete the SF-36 and accurately monitor a change in a patient's pain has made this questionnaire one of the most widely used health status instruments worldwide.

The Fact G questionnaire gained acceptance as an assessment for the cancer population, with studies showing the Fact G to be as efficacious as the SF-36 in the evaluation of an individual's quality of life. The domains explored in the Fact G consist of physical well-being, social/family well-being, emotional well-being, functional well-being, and relationship with the physician, with higher scores often correlating with better outcomes and quality of life for the patient. Similar to both the ODI and SF-36, the Fact-G is a valid, reliable, user-friendly questionnaire that has the added benefit of being sensitive enough to differentiate between different stages of cancer.

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