Article Title

Patient-caregiver communication concordance in cancer—refinement of the Cancer Communication Assessment Tool in an Australian sample


Purpose: The objective of this study was to expand the international psychometric validation of the Cancer Communication Assessment Tool for Patients and Families (CCAT-PF) within a sample of Australian cancer patients.

Methods: Survey data from 181 cancer patient-caregiver dyads≥18 years of age with solid or haematological cancers were analysed (85.4% response rate). Spearman’s rho was used to examine the correlation between CCAT-P and CCAT-F scores and weighted kappa the agreement between them. Exploratory factor analysis using scree plot and Kaiser-Guttman criteria was conducted to evaluate the scale structure. Cronbach’s α and Pearson correlation coefficients were used to measure internal consistency and concurrent validity respectively.

Results: Mean scores were the following: CCAT-P 46.2 (9.8), CCAT-F 45.7 (9.4), and CCAT-PF 24.1 (8.0). We confirmed the poor concordance between patient and caregiver reporting of items in the CCAT-PF, with all but two items having weighted kappa values<0.20 and Spearman’s rho<0.19. We derived a three-factor solution, disclosure, limitation of treatment, and treatment decision making, with reliability ranging from Cronbach’s α=0.43–0.53. The CCAT-P and CCAT-F showed strong correlations with preparation for decision-making (CCAT-P: r=0.0.92; CCATF: r=0.0.93) but were weakly associated with patient/caregiver distress related with having difficult conversations on future care planning.

Conclusion: Preliminary validation of the CCAT-PF in the Australian setting has shown some similar psychometric properties to previously published studies, further supporting its potential utility as a tool to assess patient-caregiver dyadic communication.

Trial registration: ACTRN12620001035910 12/10/2020 retrospectively registered.


cancer, communication, caregiver, validation, questionnaire

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