A pilot study to assess the validity of the DASS-21 subscales in an outpatient oncology population

Claire E. Johnson, Kellie S. Bennett, Jade Newton, Joseph McTigue, Scott Taylor, Toni Musiello, Peter Lau

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Given the high prevalence of emotional disorders within patients withcancer, identifying these comorbidities is essential in providing patientcentric care within a multidisciplinary team environment. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale Short Form (DASS)‐21 is an empirically developed self‐report measure which assesses anxiety, depression and stress. The conceptual basis of DASS is a tripartite model1comprising 3 subscales: anxiety (DASS‐A—autonomic arousal,physiological hyperarousal, and situational anxiety), depression(DASS‐D—anhedonia, hopelessness, and dysphoria) and stress (DASS‐S—nondiscriminating anxiety and depression items that pre-dominantly consisted of tension, nervous arousal, and irritability) andprovides a global measure of psychological distress.

    Because of the positive psychometric properties and ease of use,1the DASS‐21 is increasingly used in a cross section of oncology set-tings to assess psychological distress but has not been validated inthe cancer population. Our study aimed to examine the assumptions of the structure ofthe DASS‐21 within a cancer population actively receiving chemother-apy treatment in an outpatient setting and evaluate its psychometric properties.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)695-699
    Number of pages5
    Issue number2
    Early online date18 Apr 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


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