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Assessing patients' perceived bother from the gastrointestinal side effects of radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer: initial questionnaire development and validation.

Pettersson A, et al. Acta Oncol. 2014.


BACKGROUND: The present study reports on the development and first steps of validation of the Gastrointestinal Side Effects Questionnaire (GISEQ), a measure of patient-reported gastrointestinal symptoms following local radiotherapy to the prostate. The questionnaire design provides a novel approach of assessment of side effects of prostate radiotherapy, by enabling measurement of patient-perceived change in symptoms.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The eight-item GISEQ was administered to 130 prostate cancer patients referred to radiotherapy. Patients completed the GISEQ at four, eight and 15 weeks after start of radiotherapy. The psychometric properties including validity, reliability, responsiveness and feasibility were evaluated. The EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-PR25 were chosen as comparative measures.

RESULTS: Expert opinion supported content validity. For concurrent validity, correlation between the GISEQ and matching items in the EORTC questionnaires was moderate but significant (r > 0.41, p < 0.001). The responsiveness was adequate, indicated by changes in GISEQ scores over time corresponding to the effects of radiation. Internal consistency was satisfactory (overall Cronbach's α> 0.70). Sensitivity and specificity for items diarrhea, constipation and blood in stools ranged from 50% to 100% and from 68% to 100%, respectively. All items had a floor effect above 15%. The response rates ranged from 85% to 92% and missing items was < 0.8%, indicating good feasibility.

CONCLUSIONS: The GISEQ showed satisfactory internal consistency and adequate content validity, concurrent validity and responsiveness. It is brief, easy to use and can be quickly evaluated, making it useful not only for research but possibly also for clinical settings. Modification of response scale and extension of items are potential improvements. Further work is needed to strengthen the psychometric qualities of the GISEQ and to evaluate its clinical use and potential effects of response shift and recall bias.


23957649 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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