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Keywords:

  • anxiety;
  • cancer;
  • prostate;
  • scale development

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The psychological difficulties facing men with prostate cancer are acknowledged widely, yet identifying men who may benefit from mental health treatment has proven to be a challenging task. The authors developed the Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer (MAX-PC) to facilitate the identification and assessment of men with prostate cancer-related anxiety. This scale consists of three subscales that measure general prostate cancer anxiety, anxiety related to prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in particular, and fear of recurrence.

METHODS

Ambulatory men with prostate cancer (n = 385 patients) were recruited from clinics throughout the United States. Prior to routine PSA tests, participants completed a baseline assessment packet that included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; the Distress Thermometer; the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Scale, Prostate Module; and measures of role functioning, sleep, and urinary functioning. PSA values from the last three tests also were collected. Follow-up evaluation was completed within 2 weeks after patients learned of their PSA test result using a subset of these scales.

RESULTS

Analysis of the MAX-PC revealed a high degree of internal consistency and test-retest reliability for the total score and for the three subscales, although reliability was somewhat weaker for the PSA Anxiety Scale. Concurrent validity was demonstrated by correlations between the MAX-PC and measures of anxiety. Overall changes in PSA levels were correlated only modestly with changes in MAX-PC scores (correlation coefficient, 0.13; P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

The MAX-PC appears to be a valid and reliable measure of anxiety in men with prostate cancer receiving ambulatory care. Cancer 2003;97:2910–8. © 2003 American Cancer Society.

DOI 10.1002/cncr.11386