Validation of the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory—Head-and-Neck—Filipino (MDASI—HN—F): clinical utility of symptom screening among patients with head-and-neck cancer

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Symptom burden and quality of life (QOL) are of particular importance in head-and-neck cancer treatment. The MD Anderson Symptom Inventory—Head-and-Neck (MDASI-HN) is a simple symptom assessment tool practicable for patient follow-up, but a validated Filipino translation was previously unavailable.


The objectives of this study were to develop a valid Filipino translation of the MDASI-HN, to test the sensitivity of the validated MDASI core-F, and to report the prevalence and pattern of head-and-neck symptoms in our cohort.


An MDASI-HN-Filipino (MDASI-HN-F) version was developed and examined for convergent validity, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, known-group validity and sensitivity to change. Eligible participants were aged 18–80 years, with histopathologically-proven head-and-neck (except thyroid) cancer, able to understand and read English and Filipino, and without cognitive impairment or other conditions precluding self-administration of the questionnaire.


Participants (n=100) were aged 18–76 years; the majority were aged <60, male, married, had college schooling, or were from a Tagalog-speaking region. The validity of the MDASI HN-F was demonstrated in all parameters. Age or educational attainment did not affect convergent validity or test-retest reliability. At baseline, 48% had multiple moderate/severe symptoms and 38% had at least one severe symptom.


The MDASI-HN-F is valid, reliable and sensitive. The sensitivity of the MDASI core-F is demonstrated, and its validity and reliability reaffirmed. Moderate and severe head-and-neck symptoms are prevalent in early-stage and advanced-stage head-and-neck cancers, reflecting the utility of symptom screening for improvement of symptom management, QOL and compliance to treatment.

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