Aims: To describe the psychometric evaluation of a measure designed to assess the perceived needs of patients with advanced, incurable cancer.
Method: A questionnaire known as the Needs Assessment for Advanced Cancer Patients (NA-ACP) was developed based on a review of available literature and professional opinion. A sample of 246 patients (consent rate = 59%) completed the NA-ACP, 28 patients completed the acceptability questions, while 41 completed a retest copy of the NA-ACP. The construct validity of the questionnaire was examined via principal components analysis, while reliability was evaluated in terms of the internal consistency of domains and test-retest scores.
Results: The principal components analysis revealed seven domains assessing patients' psychological/emotional, medical information/communication, social, symptom, daily living, spiritual and financial needs. The test-retest reliability estimates were within accepted levels, as were all but one of the internal consistency scores. The NA-ACP was highly acceptable for this patient group.
Conclusion: The NA-ACP is one of the first multi-dimensional instruments specifically designed to assess the needs of patients with advanced, incurable cancer. The present study provides evidence of the NA-ACP's validity, reliability, and acceptability. The NA-ACP has potential applications both as a research tool and within clinical settings.