Validity of the memorial symptom assessment scale-short form psychological subscales in advanced cancer patients

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011 Nov;42(5):761-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 May 6.


Context: The Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale-Short Form (MSAS-SF) is designed to evaluate physical and psychological symptom burden in advanced cancer patients. There are no current data assessing the validity of the MSAS-SF psychological symptom scores when compared with anxiety and depression.

Objectives: This observational cross-sectional study was designed to determine the relationship between the MSAS-SF subscales and the presence of anxiety and depression.

Methods: Advanced cancer patients attending a U.K. oncology center completed the MSAS-SF and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results: One hundred twenty patients participated in the study. There was an association between the presence of anxiety and depression and the MSAS-SF global distress index. There was no association between the presence of anxiety and depression and the MSAS-SF physical symptom subscale. The MSAS-SF psychological symptom subscale was more closely correlated with anxiety than depression.

Conclusion: These results support the validity of the MSAS-SF global distress index and psychological subscales in the assessment of patients with anxiety and depressive disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Disease Progression
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Karnofsky Performance Status
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Smoking
  • Young Adult