Validity and reliability testing of two instruments to measure breast cancer patients' concerns and information needs relating to radiation therapy
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AB BACKGROUND: It is difficult to determine the most effective approach to patient education or tailor education interventions for patients in radiotherapy without tools that assess patients' specific radiation therapy information needs and concerns. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop psychometrically sound tools to adequately determine the concerns and information needs of cancer patients during radiation therapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two tools were developed to (1) determine patients concerns about radiation therapy (RT Concerns Scale) and (2) ascertain patient's information needs at different time point during their radiation therapy (RT Information Needs Scale). Tools were based on previous research by the authors, published literature on breast cancer and radiation therapy and information behaviour research. Thirty-one breast cancer patients completed the questionnaire on one occasion and thirty participants completed the questionnaire on a second occasion to facilitate test-retest reliability. One participant's responses were removed from the analysis. Results were analysed for content validity, internal consistency and stability over time. RESULTS: Both tools demonstrated high internal consistency and adequate stability over time. The nine items in the RT Concerns Scale were retained because they met all pre-set psychometric criteria. Two items were deleted from the RT Information Needs Scale because they did not meet content validity criteria and did not achieve pre-specified criteria for internal consistency. This tool now contains 22 items. CONCLUSION: This paper provides preliminary data suggesting that the two tools presented are reliable and valid and would be suitable for use in trials or in the clinical setting.
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