Article Title

Validation of the canadian version of the shame and stigma scale for head and neck cancer patients


Cancers of the head and neck and their treatment can cause disfigurement and loss of functioning, with a profound negative impact on the person’s self-image and psychosocial wellbeing. This can lead to experiences of shame and stigma, which are important targets for psychosocial interventions. Accurate measurement and identification of these problems enables clinicians to offer appropriate interventions and monitor patients’ progress. This study aimed to validate the Canadian version of the Shame and Stigma Scale (SSS) among French- and English-speaking head and neck cancer patients. Data from 254 patients from two major Canadian hospitals were analysed. The existing four-factor structure of the SSS was supported, with the following subscales: Shame with Appearance, Sense of Stigma, Regret, and Social/Speech Concerns. The Canadian SSS showed adequate convergent and divergent validity and test–retest reliability. Rasch analysis suggested scale improvement by removing two misfitting items and two items with differential functioning between French- and English-speaking patients. The final 16-item scale version was an adequate fit with the Rasch model. The SSS provides more accurate measures for people with high levels of shame and stigma, and thus has utility in identifying patients with more severe symptoms who may be in need of psychosocial interventions.


shame, stigma, head and neck cancer, psychometrics, quality of life

Link to Publisher Version (URL)


This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library