Objective: The goal of this study was to develop a reliable and valid method for assessing the cancer-related beliefs of parents with a child in treatment for cancer.
Method: One hundred twenty-five families (119 mothers, 56 fathers) completed a measure of cancer-related beliefs written to reflect common themes associated with the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer. Participants also completed self-report questionnaires used for validation of the Family Illness Beliefs Inventory (FIBI).
Results: Principal-components analysis was used to derive a 41-item five-factor solution from the maternal data--Factor 1: Treatment-Related Suffering; Factor 2: Death and Devastation; Factor 3: Caregiver Competence; Factor 4: Connection; and Factor 5: Finding Meaning. Correlations with validation measures supported the factor structure. Paternal data showed similar patterns.
Conclusions: The FIBI is a psychometrically sound method for identifying parental cancer-related beliefs. This measure may be helpful in developing and evaluating interventions to reduce parental distress related to childhood cancer and promote adaptive family functioning.