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Dignity therapy (DT) is well established in adult populations, and it is likely that it could benefit younger people. This study aimed to adapt the adult Portuguese DT question framework for adolescents (DT-QF-Adol) (ages 10–18).
Five stages were followed: (1) the Portuguese DT-QF for adults was adapted for adolescents with the original author's collaboration, (2) an expert committee provided feedback on the adapted version, (3) an initial consensus version of the DT-QF-Adol was created, (4) expert committee consult affirmed final consensus, and (5) validation stage with a sample of 17 adolescents followed in ambulatory psychology clinic.
DT's original author endorsed the final Portuguese DT-QF-Adol, reinforcing that it captures the fundamental dimensions of DT. There was 100% agreement on the final consensus version and defined age group (10–18 years old). Twenty adolescents were invited to participate, and 17 were included after informed consent was obtained; 53% were female. The average age was 12.7 years. The interviewed adolescents reported that the DT-QF-Adol was clear, and they did not identify any ambiguity or difficulty in answering any of the questions. They assumed that this information could positively affect the way parents and friends see and cared for them, permitting others to understand their concerns and preferences. Participants felt that the DT-QF-Adol could be a good starting point for a conversation with their loved ones. Although they did not consider vital for health professionals to access their answers, they strongly felt that the DT-QF-Adol might be essential to sick adolescents and they would recommend it to others.
Significance of results
We developed a DT-QF of nine questions for Portuguese adolescents (DT-QF-Adol), coined Protocolo de Perguntas da Terapia da Dignidade para Adolescentes — 10–18 anos. This tool can potentially be considered a good addition for pediatric palliative care.
Depression is a serious psychological problem in the palliative care setting. Brief screening tools for depression are lacking and need to be brief and acceptable. This study aimed to identify the properties of the single Portuguese question “Está deprimido?” (“Are you depressed?”) to screen for depression.
Retrospective study from 100 patient's medical records identifying the answers on the single Portuguese question for depression “Está deprimido?” (“Are you depressed?”) and the HADS depression sub-scale, using a score ≥11 on the latter as the gold standard for clinically significant depressive symptoms. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive and negative values were calculated.
Response rate for the single Portuguese question for depression was 100%. Prevalence of depression symptoms (HADS-d ≥ 11) was 43%. To the question “Está deprimido?” 60 patients responded “yes.” Sixteen patients who replied “no” to the single question had clinically significant depressive symptoms based on the HADS depression sub-scale. The single tool had 65.2% sensitivity, 49.2% specificity and 50.0% and 64.4% of positive predictive and negative values, respectively.
Significance of results:
In this first preliminary retrospective Portuguese study, the single question for depression has shown poor screening properties. Future research in larger and mixed patientś samples of Portuguese terminally ill is necessary to find more accurate and robust properties of this brief tool.
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