Authors: Alfano CM, McGregor BA, Kuniyuki A, Reeve BB, Bowen DJ, Baumgartner KB, Bernstein L, Ballard-Barbash R, Malone KE, Ganz PA, McTiernan A
Title: Psychometric properties of a tool for measuring hormone-related symptoms in breast cancer survivors.
Journal: Psychooncology 15(11):985-1000
Date: 2006 Nov
Abstract: Hormone-related symptoms are common in breast cancer survivors and many aspects of these symptoms are currently under study. Reliable and valid assessment tools are needed to successfully study hormone-related symptoms in breast cancer survivors; however, no gold standard currently exists for measuring these symptoms. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of a shortened version of the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT) symptom checklist in a sample of 803 breast cancer survivors. Principal factor analysis with Promax oblique rotation revealed a five-factor structure, identifying five separate hormone-related symptoms scales: vasomotor symptoms, urinary incontinence, cognitive/mood changes, vaginal symptoms, and weight gain/appearance concern. Hormone-related symptom scale scores differed by demographic and clinical characteristics according to expectations, suggesting that these five scales from the shortened BCPT checklist are reasonably reliable and valid. Symptom scale scores were only weakly correlated with health-related quality of life scores; however, the pattern of results generally supported the validity of the symptom scales. This study adds to the evidence that breast cancer survivors experience a significant number of hormone-related symptoms. Future clinical trials and quality of life and symptom management intervention studies would benefit from accurate assessment of hormone-related symptoms with the five scales from the shortened BCPT checklist.