Open Access Study protocol

Study protocol of KLIMOP: a cohort study on the wellbeing of older cancer patients in Belgium and the Netherlands

Laura Deckx1*, Doris van Abbema2, Katherine Nelissen3, Liesbeth Daniels1, Piet Stinissen3, Paul Bulens4, Loes Linsen5, Jean-Luc Rummens35, Geert Robaeys36, Eric T de Jonge7, Bert Houben8, Karin Pat9, Daan Walgraeve10, Luc Spaas11, Jolanda Verheezen12, Thessa Verniest13, Alexander Goegebuer14, Hans Wildiers15, Franchette van den Berkmortel16, Vivianne C Tjan-Heijnen2, Frank Buntinx117 and Marjan van den Akker117

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Practice, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 33, bus 7001, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

2 Department of Medical Oncology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, GROW - School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands

3 Faculty of Medicine, Hasselt University, Campus Diepenbeek, Agoralaan building A, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium

4 Limburgs Oncologisch Centrum, Stadsomvaart 11, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

5 Biobank and Clinical Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Jessa Hospital - campus Virga Jesse, Stadsomvaart 11, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

6 Department of Gastroenterology, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Schiepse Bos 6, 3600 Genk, Belgium

7 Department of Gynaecology, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Schiepse Bos 6, 3600 Genk, Belgium

8 Department of Gastroenterology, Jessa Hospital - campus Virga Jesse, Stadsomvaart 11, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

9 Department of Pulmonology, Jessa Hospital - campus Virga Jesse, Stadsomvaart 11, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

10 Department of Gastroenterology, Jessa Hospital - campus Salvator, Salvatorstraat 20, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

11 Department of Pulmonology, Jessa Hospital - campus Salvator, Salvatorstraat 20, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

12 Department of Medical Oncology, Regionaal Ziekenhuis Sint-Trudo, Diestersteenweg 100, 3800 Sint-Truiden, Belgium

13 Department of Pulmonology, Regionaal Ziekenhuis Heilig Hart Leuven, Naamsestraat 105, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

14 Department of Gastroenterology, Regionaal Ziekenhuis Heilig Hart Leuven, Naamsestraat 105, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

15 Department of General Medical Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

16 Department of Internal Medicine, Atrium Medical Centre Parkstad, Henri Dunantstraat 5, P.O. Box 4446, 6401 CX Heerlen, The Netherlands

17 Department of General Practice, Maastricht University, CAPHRI - School for Public Health and Primary Care, Peter Debeyeplein 1, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:825  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-825

Published: 25 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Cancer is mainly a disease of older patients. In older cancer patients, additional endpoints such as quality of survival and daily functioning might be considered equally relevant as overall or disease free survival. However, these factors have been understudied using prospective designs focussing on older cancer patients. Therefore, this study will focus on the impact of cancer, ageing, and their interaction on the long-term wellbeing of older cancer patients.

Methods/Design

This study is an observational cohort study. We aim to recruit 720 cancer patients above 70 years with a new diagnosis of breast, prostate, lung or gastrointestinal cancer and two control groups: one control group of 720 patients above 70 years without a previous diagnosis of cancer and one control group of 720 cancer patients between 50 - 69 years newly diagnosed with breast, prostate, lung or gastrointestinal cancer. Data collection will take place at inclusion, after six months, after one year and every subsequent year until death or end of the study. Data will be collected through personal interviews (consisting of socio-demographic information, general health information, a comprehensive geriatric assessment, quality of life, health locus of control and a loneliness scale), a handgrip test, assessment of medical records, two buccal swabs and a blood sample from cancer patients (at baseline). As an annex study, caregivers of the participants will be recruited as well. Data collection for caregivers will consist of a self-administered questionnaire examining depression, coping, and burden.

Discussion

This extensive data collection will increase insight on how wellbeing of older cancer patients is affected by cancer (diagnosis and treatment), ageing, and their interaction. Results may provide new insights, which might contribute to the improvement of care for older cancer patients.