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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
  1. Warren R Bacorro1,
  2. Teresa T Sy Ortin1,
  3. Consuelo G Suarez2,
  4. Tito R Mendoza3 and
  5. Jocelyn C Que4
  1. 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Santo Tomas Hospital—Benavides Cancer Institute, Manila, Philippines
  2. 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Santo Tomas Hospital—Apolinario Mabini Rehabilitation Center, Manila, Philippines
  3. 3Department of Symptom Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA
  4. 4Pain Management and Palliative Care Unit, University of Santo Tomas Hospital—Benavides Cancer Institute, Manila, Philippines
  1. Correspondence to Dr Warren R Bacorro, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Santo Tomas Hospital—Benavides Cancer Institute, España Boulevard, Manila 1008, Philippines; warrenbacorro{at}


Context 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.

Objectives 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.

Methods 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.

Results 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.

Conclusions 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.

  • Quality of life
  • Validation
  • Filipino

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