Background: Partners of cancer patients typically provide the majority of patients' emotional and physical care. Partners may be profoundly affected by the cancer and may experience ongoing supportive care needs across the survivorship continuum. Research has been restricted by a lack of psychometrically evaluated measures and in this study, a self-report measure of partners' needs was developed and empirically evaluated.
Methods: Questionnaire items generated from a qualitative study were constructed into a 47- item unmet need measure (Cancer Survivors' Partners Unmet Needs measure, CaSPUN). The psychometric properties of the CaSPUN were evaluated in 212 partners of patients who had been diagnosed with cancer 1-11 years earlier and were currently disease-free.
Results: The CaSPUN was modified to include 35 unmet need items, 6 positive change items and an open ended item. The CaSPUN demonstrates a high level of acceptability, internal consistency and construct validity, although test-retest reliability was moderate. Factor analysis identified five discrete factors: (1) Relationships, (2) Information, (3) Partner Issues, (4) Comprehensive Care and (5) Emotional Support.
Conclusions: The CaSPUN permits the identification of long-term supportive care needs in generic populations of cancer survivors' partners and will assist with the formulation of recommendations regarding required supportive care services.
Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.