EORTC Item Library Guidelines Project

Start date:                        July 2023

Expected end date:         July 2025


The EORTC Item Library, an online and interactive resource, comprises of over 1,000 unique items specific to cancer tumour sites and types of treatment.  A growth area for the Item Library is supporting flexible usage of PROMs through creation of customised item lists, capturing symptoms and issues which may not be covered by existing questionnaires e.g., related to new treatments or techniques or different clinical settings. This project addresses a need to develop internationally agreed guidelines on how best to incorporate individual items or multi-item scales from the Item Library into a research project/routine care. 

Study aims:

  • To develop a standard approach to the implementation of the EORTC Item Library for the development and validation of Item Lists by the EORTC Quality of Life Group (QLG)
  • To develop agreed standards for all users of the EORTC Item Library, on how to approach the flexible use of single items/multi-item scales within cancer research in two key clinical settings: clinical trials and routine care.

Study design:

Mixed methods organised in four work packages.

  1. Systematic literature review to map different uses of the Item Library and other PRO cancer systems in different settings.
  2. Analysis of EORTC Item Library use using routinely collected data to identify areas of strength, areas for development, and to establish a method to prospectively identify areas requiring updates within the Item Library.
  3. Delphi survey to establish consensus on the key criteria for use of the Item Library within the EORTC QLG, clinical trials, and routine care.
  4. Guideline development providing a clear framework for use of the EORTC Item Library.

Study outcomes:

Internationally agreed guidelines for the use of the EORTC Item Library by the EORTC QLG, in clinical trial research and routine care

Research team:

Dr Christopher Bedding

Dr Alexandra Gilbert (PI)

Dr Rosemary Peacock