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This study aimed to determine the cutoff and the specificity and sensitivity of the Emotion Thermometers (ET) in a Portuguese sample of cancer patients.
A total of 147 patients (mean age = 49.2; SD = 12.6) completed the ET, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Subjective Experiences of Illness Suffering Inventory. Data were collected in a cancer support institution and in a major hospital in the North of Portugal.
The optimal cutoff for the Anxiety Thermometer was 5v6 (until 5 and 6 or more), which identified 74% of the BSI-anxiety cases and 70% of noncases. The Depression Thermometer cutoff was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 85% of BSI-depression cases and 82% of noncases. Cutoff for the Anger Thermometer was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 83% of BSI-hostility cases and 73% of noncases; for the Distress Thermometer, the optimal cutoff was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 84% of the suffering cases and 73% of noncases. Finally, for the Help Thermometer, it was 3v4 (until 3 and 4 or more), which helped to identify 93% of the suffering cases and 64% of noncases.
Significance of results
Results supported the Portuguese version of the ET as an important screening tool for identifying the emotional distress in cancer patients.
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