Adams, Jr SG, Britt (DiBenedetti) DM, Godding PR, Khansur TI, Bulcourf BB. Relative contribution of the Karnofsky Performance Status Scale in a multi-measure assessment of quality of life in cancer patients. Psychooncology. 1995 Oct;4(3):239-46. doi: 10.1002/pon.2960040310

The Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) scale is the most widely used measure of functional or performance status. While the KPS cannot be used as a sole measure of quality of life, some suggestions have been made that the KPS can be used as a measure of one component of the quality of life construct. However, few data are available supporting the use of the KPS in such a multi‐measure assessment. The current study investigated the relation between KPS ratings and a measure of quality of life as well as measures of domains closely associated with quality of life (e.g. depression, social support). The subjects were 86 male veteran cancer patients receiving treatment for a first‐time cancer. The results indicated that the KPS was not significantly correlated with quality of life, social support or depression. KPS ratings were significantly related to education, cancer stage and mortality. Although the results support the use of the KPS as a measure of functional status, they do not support the use of the KPS as a component of a multi‐measure assessment of quality of life. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

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