Author(s): van Wegberg B, Bacchi M, Heusser P, Helwig S, Schaad R,
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Abstract Questions of meaning and challenge by illness, i.e., the spiritual dimension of quality of life (QL) traditionally played an important role in anthroposophically oriented medicine and have gained importance in palliative medicine and supportive care. In the context of a research project on QL in patients with advanced cancer, we therefore investigated the psychometric properties of a questionnaire covering spiritual QL issues, with the aim of providing a module for the assessment of cognitive-spiritual QL. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We investigated 89 patients with advanced breast and gastro-intestinal cancer. Construct validity of a modified version of the SELT (Skalen zur Erfassung von Lebensqualität bei Tumorkranken), the SELT-M was tested by multitrait scaling analysis. Discriminant and convergent validity were also tested. The EORTC QLQ-C30 was used as a standard for validation. Results showed the SELT-M as feasible in administration. Four of the five SELT-M subscales were internally consistent (Cronbach's Alpha = > 0.7). The subscale on spiritual QL showed higher within than outside subscale correlations for six of its eight items. Association of the SELT-M with the EORTC QLQ-C30 was good for the items and subscales covering the same aspects of QL in both questionnaires: emotional (Spearman r = 0.61), physical functioning (r = -0.54) and fatigue (r = -0.75). In accordance with expectations, there was no association between spiritual QL with any EORTC QLQ-C30 subscales. Self-assessed spiritual QL in the SELT-M corresponded well with interviewer assessments (test for trend accross ordered groups, P = 0.0023). CONCLUSIONS: Overall there is confirming evidence for the hypothesised structure of the SELT-M, especially for the newly developed module on spiritual QL. This module may be used as a module together with other cancer specific QL questionnaires.
This article was published in Ann Oncol
and referenced in Archives of Surgical Oncology