The Cancer Communication Assessment Tool for Patients and Families (CCAT-PF): a new measure

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Caregivers and cancer patients frequently have conflicting and unmet communication needs. The Cancer Communication Assessment Tool for Patients and Families (CCAT-PF) is a new instrument that assesses congruence in patient-family caregiver communication for both research and clinical purposes.


The scale was developed using a sample of 190 lung cancer patient-caregiver pairs. Standard psychometric procedures were used to develop and test the scale including qualitative item pool development, item reduction and ascertainment of scale properties.


The multiple correlation of the 18-item CCAT-PF scale with the longer 30-item scale was 0.94. All but three items had less than 20% variance accounted for when each item was regressed on the remaining 17, indicating that responses to an individual item were not readily predicted by the remaining items. Test re-test reliability was 0.35 and Cronbach's alpha was 0.49 as the CCAT-PF scale represents the sum of mostly independent items. Higher CCAT-PF scores were significantly correlated with greater patient depression, greater patient perceived family conflict, lower patient-caregiver assessment and well-being and less expressiveness and family cohesion. For both patients and caregivers, physical, functional and emotional well-being were not associated with CCAT-PF scores.


The CCAT-PF is a brief but reliable and valid tool. Although administering both family and patient versions is optimal, administering it to a patient or family caregiver only also produces reliable information.

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