Objective To validate a disease-specific quality-of-life instrument—the Skin Cancer Index—intended to measure quality-of-life issues relevant to patients with nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Methods Internal reliability, convergent and divergent validity with existing scales, and factor analyses were performed in a cross-sectional study of 211 patients presenting with cervicofacial nonmelanoma skin cancer to a dermatologic surgery clinic.
Results Factor analyses of the Skin Cancer Index confirmed a multidimensional scale with 3 distinct subscales—emotional, social, and appearance. Excellent internal validity of the 3 subscales was demonstrated. Substantial evidence was observed for convergent validity with the Dermatology Life Quality Index, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Lerman's Cancer Worry Scale, and Medical Outcomes Survey Short-Form 12 domains for vitality, emotion, social function, and mental health.
Conclusions These findings validate a new disease-specific quality-of-life instrument for patients with cervicofacial nonmelanoma skin cancer. Studies on the responsiveness of the Skin Cancer Index to clinical intervention are currently under way.