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Self-perceived Burden in Cancer Patients: Validation of the Self-perceived Burden Scale

Simmons, Leigh Ann PhD

doi: 10.1097/

Although caregiver burden has been studied extensively, cancer patients' self-perceived burden on caregivers has been an understudied phenomenon. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to validate the Self-perceived Burden Scale, a 10-item self-report instrument designed to measure chronically ill patients' experience of burden. Participants were 106 cancer patients (site nonspecific) receiving active cancer treatments at a university cancer center. Factor analysis results indicated that a 9-item version of the scale consisted of a single factor and had good reliability (α = .938). Convergent validity was demonstrated with global quality of life (r = −0.546, P < .001), physical well-being (r = −0.547, P < .001), emotional well-being (r = −0.549, P < .001), functional well-being (r = −0.404, P < .001), financial satisfaction (r = −0.284, P = .001), and depression (r = 0.414, P <.001). Tests of divergent validity indicated that the Self-perceived Burden Scale was independent of age, number of people living in the household, disease site, cancer treatment, and sociofamilial well-being. Findings indicate that the Self-perceived Burden Scale may be a useful instrument to assess patients' perceptions of burden on their caregivers. Further studies of the role of patient burden in psychosocial well-being and global quality of life, including validation of the Self-perceived Burden Scale on a larger study sample, are warranted.

From the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.

This study was supported by the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Control Program, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, and the University of Kentucky Research Foundation. This article represents original work. Results from this study have not been previously published or presented elsewhere.

Corresponding author: Leigh Ann Simmons, PhD, Department of Family Studies, University of Kentucky, 320 Funkhouser Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0054 (e-mail:

Accepted for publication January 26, 2007.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.