To examine the type of published research regarding quality of life for cancer patients over two 24-month periods: 1995–1996 and 2005–2006. A computer-based literature search was conducted using Medline. Two random samples of 120 publications identified in 1995–1996 and in 2005–2006 were coded as data-based research, reviews or programme descriptions. Data-based publications were further coded as measurement, descriptive or intervention research. Intervention publications were coded as psychosocial- or biomedical-based. Psychosocial intervention papers were coded using Cochrane Review criteria. In 1995–1996, 419 publications were identified and 1271 publications in 2005–2006. The majority of publications were data-based. The proportion of types of publications (data-based, reviews or programme description/case report categories) did not change significantly over time. Descriptive research dominated data-based publication outputs in 1995–1996 and 2005–2006. The current approach to quality of life research for cancer patients may be less than optimal for providing successful development of knowledge, improving healthcare delivery and lessening the burden of suffering.
European Journal of Cancer Care Vol. 19, Issue 5, p. 581-588