The Distress Thermometer and Its Validity: A First Psychometric Study in Indonesian Women with Breast Cancer

Iskandarsyah, Aulia; de Klerk, Cora; Suardi, Dradjat R.; Soemitro, Monty P.; Sadarjoen, Sawitri S.; Passchier, Jan
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Purpose: This study aims to translate the Distress Thermometer (DT) into Indonesian, test its validity in Indonesian women with breast cancer and determine norm scores of the Indonesian DT for clinically relevant distress. Methods: First, the original version of the DT was translated using a forward and backward translation procedure according to the guidelines. Next, a group of 120 breast cancer patients who were treated at the Outpatient Surgical Oncology Clinic in Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Indonesia completed a standard socio-demographic form, the DT and the Problem List, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the WHO Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF). Results: Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses identified an area under the curve = 0.81 when compared to the HADS cutoff score of 15. A cutoff score of 5 on the DT had the best sensitivity (0.81) and specificity (0.64). Patients who scored above this cutoff reported more problems in the practical, family, emotional, spiritual/religious and physical domains (30 out of 36 problems, p-value<0.05) than patients below the cutoff score. Patients at advanced stages of cancer experienced more emotional and physical problems. Patient's distress level was negatively correlated with overall quality of life, general health and all quality of life domains. Conclusions: The DT was found to be a valid tool for screening distress in Indonesian breast cancer patients. We recommend using a cutoff score of 5 in this population.


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