Specifying When To Complete Questionnaires

Generally it is advisable for QoL to be assessed before the patient is seen by the clinician. Usually this is a convenient time for the clinic (whilst the patient is in the waiting room); it means that the patient will not have been affected by anything occurring during their consultation, and it enables the clinical follow-up form to include the questions: "Has QoL been assessed? If not, why not?"


The patient should complete the questionnaires whilst waiting to be seen in the clinic—this should be done in a quiet area.

Patients should also be encouraged to request their QoL forms upon arrival at the clinic, since this will help to prevent QoL assessments being forgotten and there is usually suitable time to complete the forms whilst waiting to be seen by the clinician.

If you are not given a questionnaire to complete when you think it is due, please remind your doctor. You can, of course, decline to fill in a questionnaire at any time.

Some instruments relate to "the past week". In many trials, the patient attends hospital three or four weeks after the previous cycle of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and thus assessments at these times may not always include the period during which therapy was received. It is important that patients be aware of the time frame of the questions.

It is important to explain to the patient that the questionnaire refers to how they have been feeling during the past week.

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