Reliability and validity of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Palliative care (FACIT-Pal) scale

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2009 Jan;37(1):23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2007.12.015. Epub 2008 May 27.


The Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT) system provides a general, multidimensional measure of health-related quality of life (FACT-G) that can be augmented with disease or symptom-specific subscales. The 19-item palliative care subscale of the FACIT system has undergone little psychometric evaluation to date. The aim of this paper is to report the internal consistency, factor structure, and construct validity of the instrument using the palliative care subscale (FACIT-Pal). Two hundred fifty-six persons with advanced cancer in a randomized trial testing a palliative care psychoeducational intervention completed the 46-item FACIT-Pal at baseline. Internal consistency was greater than 0.74 for all subscales and the total score. Seventeen of the 19 palliative care subscale items loaded onto the four-factor solution of the established core measure (FACT-G). As hypothesized, total scores were correlated with measures of symptom intensity (r=-0.73, P<0.001) and depression (r=-0.75, P<0.001). The FACIT-Pal was able to discriminate between participants who died within three months of completing the baseline and participants who lived for at least one year after completing the baseline assessment (t=-4.05, P<0.001). The functional well-being subscale discriminated between participants who had a Karnofsky performance score of 70 and below and participants with a Karnofsky performance score of 80 and above (t=3.40, P<0.001). The findings support the internal consistency reliability and validity of the FACIT-Pal as a measure of health-related quality of life for persons with advanced cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease / mortality
  • Chronic Disease / nursing
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Neoplasms / nursing*
  • New Hampshire / epidemiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Palliative Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity