Functional Interference Clusters in Cancer Patients With Bone Metastases: A Secondary Analysis of RTOG 9714

Edward Chow, Jennifer James, Andrea Barsevick, William Hartsell, Sarah Ratcliffe, Charles Scarantino, Robert Ivker, Mack Roach, John Suh, Ivy Petersen, Andre Konski, William Demas, Deborah Bruner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: To explore the relationships (clusters) among the functional interference items in the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) in patients with bone metastases. Methods: Patients enrolled in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 9714 bone metastases study were eligible. Patients were assessed at baseline and 4, 8, and 12 weeks after randomization for the palliative radiotherapy with the BPI, which consists of seven functional items: general activity, mood, walking ability, normal work, relations with others, sleep, and enjoyment of life. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was used to determine the clusters between the functional items at baseline and the follow-up. Cronbach's alpha was used to determine the consistency and reliability of each cluster at baseline and follow-up. Results: There were 448 male and 461 female patients, with a median age of 67 years. There were two functional interference clusters at baseline, which accounted for 71% of the total variance. The first cluster (physical interference) included normal work and walking ability, which accounted for 58% of the total variance. The second cluster (psychosocial interference) included relations with others and sleep, which accounted for 13% of the total variance. The Cronbach's alpha statistics were 0.83 and 0.80, respectively. The functional clusters changed at week 12 in responders but persisted through week 12 in nonresponders. Conclusion: Palliative radiotherapy is effective in reducing bone pain. Functional interference component clusters exist in patients treated for bone metastases. These clusters changed over time in this study, possibly attributable to treatment. Further research is needed to examine these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1511
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Bone metastases
  • Brief Pain Inventory
  • Cluster
  • Functional interference
  • Palliative radiotherapy
  • Principal component analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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