Development of a short form of the Spanish schedule of attitudes toward hastened death in a palliative care population

Qual Life Res. 2017 Jan;26(1):235-239. doi: 10.1007/s11136-016-1409-0. Epub 2016 Sep 26.


Purpose: The schedule of attitudes toward hastened death (SAHD) is widely used to assess the wish to hasten death (WTHD) among patients with life-threatening conditions. A short form of the SAHD would increase its clinical applicability in this population.

Method: Rasch analysis of data from 101 Spanish palliative inpatients. Item reduction involved selecting items with a high discrimination index (point-biserials ≥0.70), removing items with inadequate fit statistics, and assessing unidimensionality and local dependency. We examined the test probability function to establish an empirical risk score for suffering a WTHD and tested convergence between the original and the reduced set of items.

Results: A set of five items met all quality criteria. In this sample, 20.8 % of participants had a higher risk of a WTHD (p > 50 %) at a score of 3. Correlation analysis confirmed convergent validity between the original and reduced forms. Concurrent validity was confirmed by the similar correlations shown by both versions of the SAHD (5 and 20 items) with other measures.

Conclusion: This 5-item Spanish form of the SAHD could be a suitable alternative to the full instrument. The cut-off score derived from the Rasch analysis may be able to detect patients at risk of a WTHD.

Keywords: Desire to die; Desire to hasten death; End-of-life care; End-of-life decisions; Instrument; Item response theory; Measurement; Palliative care; Wish to hasten death.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Death / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminally Ill
  • Translating