The adaptation of the Sheffield Profile for Assessment and Referral for Care (SPARC) to the Polish clinical setting for needs assessment of advanced cancer patients

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2012 Dec;44(6):916-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.12.286. Epub 2012 Aug 25.


Context: Assessment of the needs of advanced cancer patients is a very important issue in palliative care.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to adapt the Sheffield Profile for Assessment and Referral for Care (SPARC) to the Polish environment and evaluate its usefulness in needs assessment of patients with advanced cancer.

Methods: A forward-back translation of the SPARC to Polish was done. The SPARC was used once in 58 consecutive patients with advanced cancer during follow-up. The patients were enrolled from a palliative care unit (25 patients), home care (18 patients), and a day care center (15 patients). The reliability was evaluated by establishing the internal consistency using Cronbach's alpha coefficients. Content validity was analyzed in accordance with the theories of needs by Murray and Maslow as a nonstatistical method of validity assessment. Factor analysis with principal components extraction and varimax rotation of raw data was used to reduce the set of data and assess the construct validity.

Results: There were differences regarding religious and spiritual issues and independence and activity between patients in the palliative care unit (worse results) and those at the day care center (better scores). Communication and need for more information items were associated with psychological, social, spiritual, and treatment issues. Cronbach's alpha coefficients and factor analysis demonstrated, respectively, satisfactory reliability and construct validity of the tool.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated that the Polish version of the SPARC is a valid and reliable tool recommended for the needs assessment and symptom evaluation of patients with advanced cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Palliative Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Terminal Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom