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Keywords:

  • chemotherapy;
  • measurement;
  • neuropathy;
  • oncology;
  • psychometrics

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) remains the principal dose-limiting toxicity of many agents. This systematic review evaluates available CIPN measures and provides rationale for selection of measures in this field. Searches of Medline (1966–2010), CINAHL (1966–2010), Embase (1966–2010), and Cochrane (1988–2010) databases were performed. To be selected, studies had to include (1) subjects receiving peripheral neurotoxic chemotherapy for cancer and (2) a primary purpose of psychometric evaluation of CIPN measures. A modified Quality of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS) tool coded psychometric study quality, with 0–7 score overall possible (higher score indicating better quality). A total of 15 studies qualified for evaluation. Overall studies were of moderate quality, with 10 of 15 receiving a 4–5 QUADAS score. Averaged quality scores for two repeatedly studied measures, Total Neuropathy Score (TNS) versions and Functional Assessment of Cancer-Gynecologic Oncology Group, neurotoxicity (FACT/GOG-Ntx), were 5.4 and 4.5, respectively. Two measures emerged as potentially useful for clinical trials and patient care. The FACT/GOG-Ntx is a subjective measure of CIPN-related quality of life (QoL). TNS clinical versions incorporate both subjective measures and objective examinations of nerve function. However, to improve QUADAS scoring, additional research is needed focusing on other psychometric aspects such as responsiveness of CIPN outcome measures.