Development and preliminary testing of a brief clinical tool to enable daily monitoring of chemotherapy toxicity: the Daily Chemotherapy Toxicity self-Assessment Questionnaire (DCTAQ)

Roma Maguire, Grigorios Kotronoulas, Peter T. Donnan, Catherine Paterson, Lisa McCann, John Connaghan, David G. G. Di Domenico, Nora Kearney

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Close monitoring of chemotherapy toxicity can be instrumental in ensuring prompt symptom management and quality care. Our aim was to develop a brief clinical tool to enable daily assessment of chemotherapy toxicity, and investigate/establish its content validity, feasibility/applicability, internal consistency and stability. Development of the Daily Chemotherapy Toxicity self-Assessment Questionnaire (DCTAQ) was based on an initial item pool created from two scoping reviews. Expert panel review (n=15) and cognitive debriefing with patients with cancer (n=7) was used to establish content validity. Feasibility/acceptability, applicability (self-report v. interviewlike administration), internal consistency (KR-20) and test-retest reliability (at 1-hour intervals) of the DCTAQ were field-tested with 82 patients with breast or colorectal cancer receiving active chemotherapy at eight hospitals. Initial development/content validity stages enabled item revisions and re-wording that led to a final, 11-item DCTAQ version with 10 core symptom items plus one open-ended ‘any other symptom’ item. Feasibility and acceptability were demonstrated through absence of participant withdrawals, absence of missing data and no complaints about tool length. The DCTAQ was found to have modest internal consistency (KR-20=0.56), but very good test-retest reliability. The DCTAQ is a brief clinical tool that allows for rapid and accurate daily assessments of chemotherapy toxicity in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12890
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number6
Early online date11 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018


  • patient-reported outcomes
  • cancer
  • chemotherapy toxicity
  • Daily Chemotherapy Toxicity self-Assessment Questionnaire (DCTAQ)
  • reliability
  • validity

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