Purpose/Objectives: To assess the validity of neuropathy and neuropathic pain-measurement approaches.
Design: Cross-sectional measurement study.
Setting: Two comprehensive cancer centers in the northeastern United States.
Sample: 117 patients with cancer in an outpatient setting.
Methods: Participants were assessed using the five-component Total Neuropathy Score-reduced (TNSr), the TNSr short form (TNSr-SF), individual TNSr items, the Neuropathic Pain Scale for chemotherapy-induced neuropathy (NPS-CIN), and the National Cancer Institute's Common Toxicity Criteria™, version 3.0 (NCI-CTC).
Main Research Variables: Neuropathy and pain measure scores, cumulative and per M2 chemotherapy dosage, comorbid risk factors, drug class, and the number of neurotoxic drugs received.
Findings: TNSr, TNSr-SF, and tendon reflex scores were greater in patients receiving higher cumulative (z range = -2.2 to -3.6; p range = 0.01 to < 0.001) and per M2 (z range = -1.8 to -2.4; p range = 0.04 to < 0.001) chemotherapy doses. Scores from most neuropathy and pain measures were higher in patients with comorbid illnesses (z range = -1.79 to -3.51; p range = 0.03 to < 0.001). Sensory NCI-CTC scores were higher in patients receiving higher cumulative chemotherapy dosage (z = -2.1; p = 0.02). Only the sensory NCI-CTC correlated with other measures (r range = 0.22-0.63; p òange = 0.05 to < 0.001).
Conclusions: Findings support the validity of the TNSr, TNSr-SF, tendon reflex item, NPS-CIN, and NCI-CTC sensory grading scale when measuring taxane and platinum-induced neuropathy. However, additional validity testing is warranted.
Implications for Nursing: Comprehensive neuropathy and pain measures mainly used by researchers and neurologists were simplified to more clinically useful tools for use by nurses when monitoring chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.