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The Italian validation of the Death and Dying Distress Scale
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 December 2022
Death anxiety (DA), a condition characterized by fear, angst, or panic related to the awareness of one’s own death, is commonly observed in advanced cancer patients. The aim of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Death and Dying Distress Scale (DADDS-IT) in a sample of patients with advanced cancer.
The sample included 200 Italian advanced cancer patients meeting eligibility criteria to access palliative care. Patients’ levels of DA were assessed by using the DADDS-IT, while the levels of depression, anxiety, demoralization, spiritual well-being, and symptom burden were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, the Demoralization Scale, the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Spiritual Well-Being Scale, and the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, respectively; Karnofsky Performance Status was used to measure functional impairment. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) of previous structures and exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted.
CFA revealed that none of the previous structures adequately fitted data from our sample. EFA revealed a 4-factor model comprising Finitude (α = 0.91), Regret (α = 0.86), Dying (α = 0.88), and Relational Burden (α = 0.73), accounting for the 77.1% of the variance. Dying subscore was higher in hospice patients than in those recruited in medical wards.
The present study provides further evidence that DA is a condition that deserves attention and that DADDS-IT shows good psychometric properties to support its use in research and clinical settings.
- Original Article
- © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press.