Measuring symptom occurrence and symptom distress: development of the symptom experience index
Article first published online: 2 AUG 2007
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 59, Issue 6, pages 623–634, September 2007
How to Cite
Fu, M. R., McDaniel, R. W. and Rhodes, V. A. (2007), Measuring symptom occurrence and symptom distress: development of the symptom experience index. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 59: 623–634. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04335.x
- Issue published online: 2 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 2 AUG 2007
- Accepted for publication 20 March 2007
- instrument development;
- symptom distress;
- symptom experience;
- Symptom Experience Index;
- symptom management;
- symptom occurrence
Title. Measuring symptom occurrence and symptom distress: development of the symptom experience index
Aim. This paper is a report of a study to assess reliability and construct validity of revised and refined version of the Adapted Symptom Distress Scale: the Symptom Experience Index (SEI).
Background. The development of the SEI, a 41-item Likert Scale assessing 20 symptoms, was based on self-regulation theory and an integrative conceptual analysis of symptom assessment and management. The model emphasizes the difference between the occurrence of a symptom (or multiple symptoms) and the distress (emotional) response to the occurrence of a symptom. It is the distress from symptom occurrence that promotes a person to take action and use known coping strategies to prevent the symptom occurrence or alleviate the distress from the symptom.
Method. A contrast-group and test-retest approach was used to assess construct validity and reliability with a convenience sample of 158 patients at United States of America in 2003–2004.
Results. The SEI demonstrated reasonable internal consistency with a Cronbach's alpha of 0·91 for symptom experience, 0·85 for symptom occurrence and 0·84 for symptom distress. Test-retest reliability was supported by high intra-class correlation coefficients (symptom experience r = 0·93; symptom occurrence r = 0·94; symptom distress, r = 0·92). Construct validity was supported by statistically significant differences between patients and healthy adults.
Conclusion. The SEI can be used as a baseline and outcome measure to assess the impact of multiple symptoms on patients, and the effectiveness of interventions to manage these symptoms.