31 August 2017

Quality of life assessment in dogs and cats receiving chemotherapy: a review of current methods

By K. K. Vøls, M. A. Heden, A. T. Kristensen & P. Sandøe (2017). 
Veterinary and Comparative Oncology. 
John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


This study aimed to review currently reported methods of assessing the effects of chemotherapy on the quality of life (QoL) of canine and feline patients and to explore novel ways to assess QoL in such patients in the light of the experience to date in human pediatric oncology. A qualitative comparative analysis of published papers on the effects of chemotherapy on QoL in dogs and cats were conducted. This was supplemented with a comparison of the parameters and domains used in veterinary QoL-assessments with those used in the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL™) questionnaire designed to assess QoL in toddlers. Each of the identified publications including QoL-assessment in dogs and cats receiving chemotherapy applied a different method of 5QoL-assessment. In addition, the veterinary QoL-assessments were mainly focused on physical clinical parameters, whereas the emotional (6/11), social (4/11) and role (4/11) domains were less represented. QoL-assessment of cats and dogs receiving chemotherapy is in its infancy. The most commonly reported method to assess QoL was questionnaire based and mostly included physical and clinical parameters. Standardizing and including a complete range of potentially relevant parameters in future QoL assessments may benefit owner decision making.

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