Background: There are significant disparities in cancer outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Identifying the unmet supportive care needs of Indigenous Australians with cancer is imperative to improve their cancer care. The purpose of the current study was to test the psychometric properties of a supportive cancer care needs assessment tool for Indigenous people (SCNAT-IP) with cancer.
Methods: The SCNAT-IP was administered to 248 Indigenous Australians diagnosed with a range of cancer types and stages, and who received treatment in 1 of 4 Queensland hospitals. All 39 items were assessed for ceiling and floor effects and were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis to determine construct validity. Identified factors were assessed for internal consistency and convergent validity to validated psychosocial tools.
Results: Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 4-factor structure (physical and psychological, hospital care, information and communication, and practical and cultural needs) explaining 51% of the variance. Internal consistency of the 4 subscales was good, with Cronbach alpha reliability coefficients ranging from.70 to.89. Convergent validity was supported by significant correlations between the SCNAT-IP with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Distress Thermometer (correlation coefficient [r] = 0.60; P<.001) and the Cancer Worry Chart (r = 0.58; P<.001) and a moderately strong negative correlation with the Assessment of Quality of Life questionnaire (r = -0.56; P<.001).
Conclusions: These data provide initial support for the SCNAT-IP, a measure of multiple supportive care needs domains specific to Indigenous Australian patients with cancer undergoing treatment.