The "Psychosocial Aspects in Hereditary Cancer" questionnaire in women attending breast cancer genetic clinics: Psychometric validation across French-, German- and Spanish-language versions

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2020 Jan;29(1):e13173. doi: 10.1111/ecc.13173. Epub 2019 Sep 30.


Background: We performed a comprehensive assessment of the psychometrics of the "Psychosocial Aspects in Hereditary Cancer" (PAHC) questionnaire in French, German and Spanish.

Methods: Women consecutively approached in Cancer Genetic Clinics completed the PAHC, distress and satisfaction questionnaires at pre-testing (T1) and after test result disclosure (T2). In addition to standard psychometric attributes, we assessed the PAHC ability to respond to change (i.e. improvement or deterioration from T1 to T2) in perceived difficulties and computed minimal important differences (MID) in PAHC scores as compared with self-reported needs for additional counselling.

Results: Of 738 eligible counselees, 214 (90%) in France (Paris), 301 (92%) in Germany (Cologne) and 133 (77%) in Spain (Barcelona) completed the PAHC. A six-factor revised PAHC model yielded acceptable CFA goodness-of-fit indexes and good all scales internal consistencies. PAHC scales demonstrated expected conceptual differences with distress and satisfaction with counselling. Different levels of psychosocial difficulties were evidenced between counselees' subgroups and over time (p-values < .05). MID estimates ranged from 8 to 15 for improvement and 9 to 21 for deterioration.

Conclusion: The PAHC French, German and Spanish versions are reliable and valid for evaluating the psychosocial difficulties of women at high BC risk attending genetic clinics.

Keywords: breast cancer; cross-cultural; genetics; minimal important difference; psychometrics.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • France
  • Genetic Counseling / psychology*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Germany
  • Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimal Clinically Important Difference
  • Needs Assessment
  • Psychological Distress*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Translations
  • Young Adult