Validation of a needs-based biopsychosocial distress instrument for cancer patients


Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, 641 Lexington Avenue, 7th floor, New York, NY 10022, USA. E-mail:



People with cancer may experience distress related to diagnoses, disease-related symptoms, and treatment side effects. Assessment of cancer-related needs can facilitate timely triage and intervention and contribute to individualized comprehensive cancer care. This study assessed the internal consistency, test–retest reliability and construct validity of the Cancer Needs Distress Inventory (CaNDI), a self-report, needs-based measure of cancer-related distress.


A sample of 100 patients (27% male) with various cancer diagnoses completed the CaNDI, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Brief Symptom Inventory, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General, and the Paulhus Deception Scales.


The CaNDI total and depressive and anxiety subscale scores all demonstrated excellent test–retest reliability and moderate to high correlations with other measures of these constructs. The instrument was minimally confounded by social desirability and provided high sensitivity and specificity in detecting depression and anxiety.


Initial results suggest that the CaNDI has strong psychometric properties and may be a useful addition to cancer patient needs assessment, research and care. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.