Purpose/Objectives: To develop an instrument to assess the specific symptoms of chemotherapy-induced taste alterations.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Two outpatient chemotherapy centers in Kanto, Japan.
Sample: Convenience sample of 214 adult patients with chemotherapy-induced taste alterations.
Methods: Items on the chemotherapy-induced taste alteration scale (CiTAS) were developed by a qualitative study of patients with taste alterations, and the content validity of each item was assessed by a panel of specialized oncology nurses. Data were analyzed for item consistency using Cronbach alpha and construct validity using factor analysis.
Main Research Variables: Taste alterations, symptoms of discomfort, and impact of taste alterations on daily life.
Findings: An 18-item scale was developed with four dimensions identified through factor analysis: decline in basic taste, discomfort, phantogeusia and parageusia, and general taste alterations. The scale demonstrated excellent reliability (Cronbach alpha = 0.9) and test-retest reliability (r = 0.94, p < 0.001, n = 28), as well as good validity, which was indicated by its strong correlation with a visual analog scale of the impact of taste alterations on daily life (r = 0.62, p < 0.001) and by negative correlations with Short Form-8 quality-of-life measures (physical component summary, r = -0.33; mental component summary, r = -0.47).
Conclusions: The CiTAS enabled valid, reliable measurement of specific symptoms of chemotherapy-induced taste alterations.
Implications for Nursing: The CiTAS has potential as a clinical tool and also could be used as a measure of chemotherapy-induced taste alterations in future studies.
Knowledge Translation: The CiTAS may help evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to reduce the symptoms of taste alterations, such as administering zinc and self-care strategies.