Palliative & Supportive Care



The schedule of attitudes toward hastened death: Validation analysis in terminally ill cancer patients


KYRIAKI  MYSTAKIDOU  M.D., Ph.D. a1 c1 , BARRY  ROSENFELD  Ph.D., ABPP a2 , EFI  PARPA  B.A., M.A. a1 , ELENI  TSILIKA  B.Sc., M.Sc. a1 , EMMANUELA  KATSOUDA  M.D. a1 , ANTONIS  GALANOS  B.Sc. a1 and LAMBROS  VLAHOS  M.D., Ph.D. a3
a1 Pain Relief and Palliative Care Unit, Department of Radiology, Areteion Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
a2 Department of Psychology, Fordham University, Bronx, New York
a3 Department of Radiology, Areteion Hospital, University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

Article author query
mystakidou k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rosenfeld b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
parpa e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
tsilika e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
katsouda e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
galanos a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
vlahos l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Objective: The faithful translation of the English version of the Schedule of Attitudes toward Hastened Death (SAHD) into Greek and its validation as an assessment tool in terminally ill cancer patients receiving palliative treatment.

Methods: 120 terminally ill cancer patients attending a Palliative Care Unit, at the University of Athens, Greece, between June 2003 and November 2003 for palliative treatment.

Results: SAHD would be a useful instrument for measuring desire for hastened death with valid psychometric properties in a Greek cancer population. The SAHD demonstrated high reliability. Desire for hastened death was significantly associated with Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) depression (r = 0.607, p < 0.0005) and substantially correlated with HAD anxiety (r = 0.502, p < 0.0005). “Pain intensity” had a moderate correlation with SAHD scores (r = 0.28, p = 0.01) and SAHD scores correlated significantly with “pain interference in mood” (r = 0.38, p = 0.01) and in “enjoyment of life” (r = 0.34, p = 0.03). SAHD correlation with quality of life was statistically significant (r = −0.38, p < 0.01) as was health status (r = −0.36, p < 0.01). Patients with a Poor Performance Status (from Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group scale) correlated significantly with high scores in SAHD (p = 0.038). Factor analysis supported the unidimentionality of the measurement.

Significance of results: SAHD could be a useful and valid instrument for measuring desire for hastened death in Greek terminally ill cancer patients.

(Received July 31 2004)
(Accepted September 12 2004)


Key Words: Palliative care; Hastened death; Greece.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence author: Kyriaki Mystakidou, Pain Relief and Palliative Care Unit, Department of Radiology, Areteion Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Athens, 27 Korinthias Str., 115 26 Athens, Greece. E-mail: mistakidou@yahoo.com