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To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Brazilian version of the Shame and Stigma Scale (SSS) in a sample of patients with head and neck cancers (HNC).
This is a validation study carried out in a Brazilian cancer hospital. Patients over 18 years old who knew about their HNC diagnosis were consecutively recruited, answering the SSS, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (General and Head and Neck supplement) questionnaire, and the University of Washington Quality of Life Questionnaire. Internal consistency, test-retest procedure, convergent validity, and responsiveness analysis were the psychometric properties evaluated.
A total of 122 HNC patients were included. The SSS showed appropriate internal consistency (alphas ranging from 0.71 to 0.86), test-retest reliability (higher than 0.92 with exception of the “Regret domain”), and convergent validity. The responsiveness analysis with 38 patients was able to discriminate the scores before and after prosthetic procedures.
Significance of the Results
The Brazilian Portuguese version of the SSS may be considered a valid and reliable instrument for the evaluation of Brazilian patients with HNC. Future SSS validation studies are welcome in other developing countries in order to make cancer health providers aware of these negative feelings in their HNC patients.
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