This study investigates the usefulness of the Structured Interview for Competency and Incompetency Assessment Testing and Ranking Inventory (SICIATRI) for cancer patients, which is a structured interview that assesses a patient's competency in clinical practice.
The SICIATRI, originally developed to measure patients' competency to give informed consent, were administered referred cancer patients who needed for assessing medical decision making capacity. The usefulness of the SICIATRI was investigated retrospectively. Recommendation for modification of the SICIATRI for cancer patients if applicable were made by the research team.
Among the 433 cancer patients referred for psychiatric consultation, 12 were administered the SICIATRI and all of the administration were conducted without big problems. All patients were 60 years or older. The most common purpose for competency evaluation was to analyze patients' understanding of the anti-cancer treatment proposed by oncologists, followed by their refusal of the treatment. Half of the patients (n = 6) were diagnosed with delirium and three among them were judged as having the most impaired status of a patient's competency. Two patients (17%) were diagnosed with major depression and another two (17%) were mental retardation and each one patient was diagnosed with dementia and past history of alcohol dependence. Among 6 patients without delirium 5 subjects including a dementia patient were judged as fully competent. Total of 5 small potential modifications of the SICIATRI for its use with Japanese cancer patients were recommended.
Our experience suggests that the SICIATRI is a useful instrument for psycho-oncology clinical practice.