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Provision of supportive care to meet patients' individual needs is instrumental to enhancing their quality of life. We therefore need an appropriate assessment tool to measure such needs. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric property of the Japanese version of the Short-form Supportive Care Needs Survey questionnaire (SCNS-SF34-J).The forward-backward translation method was used to develop the Japanese version of SCNS-SF34, originally developed by Boyeset al.in Australia. Randomly selected ambulatory female patients with breast cancer participated in this study. They were asked to complete the SCNS-SF34-J and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C 30. The validity and the reliability of SCNS-SF34-J were evaluated statistically.Complete data were available from 408 patients. A five-factor solution that accounted for 74.6% of the total variance was reproduced. The results confirmed the five-factor structure found in the original SCNS development study, consisting of Health system and Information needs, Psychological needs, Physical needs, Care and Support needs, and Sexuality needs. Cronbach's alpha coefficients, which are the measures of the internal consistency, were above 0.85 for all of five subscales. Significant correlations were also found for corresponding subscales in each of the instruments. The anticipated differences in supportive care needs between groups divided by the patient characteristics, such as the disease stage, were found to be significant.The results indicated that SCNS-SF34-J is a valid and reliable tool for assessing the supportive care needs of Japanese cancer patients. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.