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01.10.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 10/2012

Supportive Care in Cancer 10/2012

Psychometric properties of the German version of the Short-Form Supportive Care Needs Survey Questionnaire (SCNS-SF34-G)

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 10/2012
Claudia Lehmann, Uwe Koch, Anja Mehnert



The recommendation to screen for distress and supportive care needs among cancer patients focuses on improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of comprehensive cancer care. The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the German version of the Short-Form Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS-SF34-G).


One thousand forty-seven participants with heterogeneous tumor entities were recruited in inpatient and outpatient cancer care facilities (female, 51%; median age, 57 years; breast cancer, 26%; prostate cancer, 22%). Concurrent and divergent validity of the SCNS-SF34-G was analyzed through associations with measures of distress, depression, anxiety, and social support.


Principal component analyses revealed five dimensions replicating the factorial structure of the original SCNS-SF34 (health system and information, psychological, physical and daily living, patient care and support, sexuality needs) explaining 68% of variance. Cronbach's alpha values ranged from 0.82 to 0.94. Convergent validity was supported by significant correlations between all SCNS-SF34-G subscales and psychosocial burden. Divergent validity was indicated by marginal correlations with social support. The SCNS-SF34-G was able to discriminate patient groups with respect to sex and age but not regarding tumor stage.


The SCNS-SF34-G is an instrument with excellent psychometric properties for assessing supportive care needs among patients with various cancer entities. It seems to be useful to integrate the questionnaire into diagnostic assessment to tailor interventions according to patient needs. Further research is needed to gain knowledge of the development of unmet needs during the illness trajectory as well as of associations with offer and utilization of healthcare services.

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