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.Methods:
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.Results:
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.Conclusion:
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.