Park EM, Tan X, Stephenson EM, Deal AM, Yopp JM, Rosenstein DL, Edwards T, Song MK. Psychometric analysis of the parenting concerns questionnaire in women with metastatic cancer. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2018 Feb;55(2):451-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.09.021

CONTEXT: Parenting concerns are a major source of distress for patients with advanced cancer. However, validated tools to measure this construct in advanced cancer patients are lacking.

OBJECTIVES: The Parenting Concerns Questionnaire (PCQ) is the only tool available to assess parenting concerns in cancer patients, yet its psychometric properties have not been fully evaluated.

METHODS: This cross-sectional Web-based survey of the psychosocial concerns included 211 women with Stage IV solid tumor malignancy who had at least one minor child in the home. Participants completed a battery of questionnaires assessing parenting concerns, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), depression and anxiety symptoms, and sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Internal consistency was assessed by computing Cronbach's alpha. Convergent validity was evaluated using correlations of the PCQ with anxiety and depression symptom severity and HRQOL. We examined the PCQ's underlying dimensions with confirmatory factor analysis.

RESULTS: The mean total PCQ score for the sample was 2.2 (SD, 0.7), corresponding to "a little bit concerned." Internal consistency was 0.82. The PCQ demonstrated adequate convergent validity with expected correlations with anxiety (r = 0.49) and depression (r = 0.56) symptom severity, and HRQOL (r = -0.61). The original three-factor structure was not fully supported by confirmatory factor analysis.

CONCLUSION: The PCQ assesses a unique aspect of psychological distress in cancer patients. It demonstrated adequate reliability and convergent validity, but its original three-factor structure was not supported in a population of patients with metastatic cancer. The PCQ would benefit from further testing and refinement to enhance its representation of parenting concerns in metastatic cancer.

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