The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.
HJZ designed the study, collected and analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript. JBYS and WPY consulted and referred the patients, NL instructed the study design and data analysis, NN and SCL critically revised the draft, FZ and KGY oversaw all stages of research, KGY approved the draft for submission. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Quality of life (QoL) assessment has become an important aspect of the clinical management of gastric cancer (GC), which poses a greater health threat in Chinese populations around the world. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Gastric Module (FACT-Ga), a questionnaire developed specifically to measure QoL of patients with GC, has never been validated in Chinese subjects. The current study was designed to examine the psychometric properties of FACT-Ga as a GC specific QoL instrument for its future use in Chinese populations.
A sample of 67 Chinese patients with GC in the National University Hospital, Singapore was investigated cross-sectionally. The participants independently completed either English or Chinese versions of the FACT-Ga and the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D). Reliability was measured as the Cronbach’s α for EQ-5D, and five subscale scores and two total scores of FACT-Ga. The sensitivity to patients’ clinical status was evaluated by comparing EQ-5D and FACT-Ga scores between clinical subgroups classified by Clinical Stage and Treatment Intent. The construct validity of FACT-Ga was assessed internally by examining the item-to-scale correlations and externally by contrasting the FACT-Ga subscales with the EQ-5D domains.
For both FACT-Ga and EQ-5D, patients treated with curative intent rated their QoL higher than those treated for palliation, and early stage patients scored higher than those in the late stage. The sensitivity to clinical status of FACT-Ga scores were differential as four of seven FACT-Ga scores were significant for Treatment Intent while only one subscale score was significant for Clinical Stage. Six FACT-Ga scores had Cronbach’s α of 0.8 or above indicating excellent reliability. For construct validity, 45 of 46 items converged about their respective subscales. The monotrait-multimethod correlations between QoL constructs of FACT-Ga and EQ-5D were stronger than the multitrait-multimethod correlations as theoretically hypothesized, suggesting good convergent and discriminant validities.
Given the excellent reliability and good construct validity, FACT-Ga scores are able to distinguish patient groups with different clinical characteristics in the expected direction. Therefore FACT-Ga can be used as a discriminative instrument for measuring QoL of Chinese patients with GC.