The supportive care needs survey for partners and caregivers of cancer survivors: development and psychometric evaluation

Psychooncology. 2011 Apr;20(4):387-93. doi: 10.1002/pon.1740. Epub 2010 Apr 5.


Objective: Begin to test the psychometric properties of a measure designed to capture the multi-dimensional supportive care needs of cancer caregivers: the Supportive Care Needs Survey-Partners and Caregivers (SCNS-P&C).

Methods: Draft SCNS-P&C items were developed with reference to the literature and existing instruments and reviewed for face and content validity. The final SCNS-P&C was then completed by 547 cancer caregivers. Psychometric analyses conducted included principal factor analysis, internal consistency, and construct validity through the known-group approach.

Results: Factor analysis revealed four domains of needs: Health Care Service Needs, Psychological and Emotional Needs, Work and Social Needs, and Information Needs, with Cronbach's α coefficients ranging from 0.88 to 0.94. Construct validity of the SCNS-P&C was partially supported. Across all domains, individuals with anxiety or depression were more likely to report at least one unmet moderate or high need in comparison to non-anxious or non-depressed participants. A greater proportion of younger participants experienced at least one unmet moderate or high need within the Psychological and Emotional Needs and Work and Social Needs domains. Proportion of reported unmet needs varied across cancer types for the Health Care Service Needs and Information Needs domains.

Conclusions: The SCNS-P&C has the potential to comprehensively assess the range of caregivers' supportive care needs, across the illness trajectory. Analyses supported the tool's internal consistency and construct validity. The SCNS-P&C can be used by researchers and clinicians to determine caregivers' unmet needs, prioritize health-care resources, and tailor supportive cancer care services accordingly.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Young Adult