Measuring perceived benefit and disease-related burden in young cancer survivors: validation of the Benefit and Burden Scale for Children (BBSC) in The Netherlands

H. Maurice-Stam, A. van der Broek, A.M.M. Kolk, J.M.J. Vrijmoet-Wiersma, E. van den Bergh, E.M. van Dijk, S. Phipps, M.A. Grootenhuis, A.. van den Broek

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Perceiving favourable changes from one's illness may go hand in hand with experiencing harmful psychosocial effects. Each of these constructs should be considered when examining children's levels of psychological adjustment following stressful life events. A paediatric instrument that accounts for both positive and negative impact of stressful events has not been investigated in The Netherlands before. The aim of the study was to investigate psychometric properties of the Dutch version of the Benefit and Burden Scale for Children (BBSC), a 20-item questionnaire that intends to measure potential benefit and burden of illness in children. Dutch paediatric survivors of childhood cancer aged 8-18 (N = 77) completed the BBSC and other psychological questionnaires: Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (health-related quality of life), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (anxiety), Children's Revised Impact of Event Scale (posttraumatic stress) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (behavioural functioning). Reliability and validity were evaluated. Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha, benefit 0.84, burden 0.72), test-retest reliability (benefit r = 0.74, burden r = 0.78) and homogeneity (mean inter-item correlation, benefit r = 0.34, burden r = 0.22) were satisfactory. Burden was associated with HRQoL (-), anxiety (+), posttraumatic stress symptoms (+) and behavioural problems. Benefit did not correlate with the psychological outcomes. The Dutch version of the BBSC shows promising psychometric properties. Perceived benefit and disease-related burden are distinct constructs; both should be considered when examining children's psychological adjustment to potentially traumatic experiences. The BBSC may be useful as monitoring and screening instrument
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1253
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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