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Assessment of radiation-induced xerostomia: validation of the Italian version of the xerostomia questionnaire in head and neck cancer patients



Assessment of radiation-induced xerostomia: validation of the Italian version of the xerostomia questionnaire in head and neck cancer patients



Supportive Care in Cancer 23(4): 925-932



Xerostomia is the most common acute and late side effect of radiation treatment for head and neck cancer. Affecting taste perception, chewing, swallowing and speech, xerostomia is also the major cause of decreased quality of life. The aims of this study were to validate the Italian translation of the self-reported eight-item xerostomia questionnaire (XQ) and determine its psychometric properties in patients treated with radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. An observational cross-sectional study was conducted in the Radiotherapy Unit of the Veneto Institute of Oncology - IOV in Padua. The XQ was translated according to international guidelines and filled out by 102 patients. Construct validity was assessed using principal component analysis, internal consistency using Cronbach's α coefficient and test-retest reliability at 1-month interval using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Criterion-related validity was evaluated to compare the Italian version of XQ with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Core Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30) and its Head and Neck Cancer Module (QLQ-H&N35). Cronbach's α for the Italian version of XQ was strong at α = 0.93, test-retest reliability was also strong (0.79) and factor analysis confirmed that the questionnaire was one-dimensional. Criterion-related validity was excellent with high association with the EORTC QLQ-H&N35 xerostomia and sticky saliva scales. The Italian version of XQ has excellent psychometric properties and can be used to evaluate the impact of emerging radiation delivery techniques aiming at preventing xerostomia.

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Accession: 051665036

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PMID: 25236164

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-014-2438-2


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