Clinical and psychometric validation of the BreSAS questionnaire module for symptom assessment among breast cancer survivors

Raffaele Giusti, Emanuela Scarpi, Katia Cannita, Rosa Rita Silva, Marco Filetti, Marco Mazzotta, Corrado Ficorella, Andrea Botticelli, Marco Maltoni, Paolo Marchetti, Giampiero Porzio, Lucilla Verna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The large number of women surviving many years post breast cancer (BC) diagnosis has heightened interest in studying long-term effects of cancer on quality of life (QoL). Several cancer-specific health-related measures have been developed, but these may not be appropriate for long survivors. This study evaluates the reliability and clinical and psychometric validity of the BreSAS questionnaire (BQ) among BC survivors. Methods: The BQ is a quick, simple ten-item module for the assessment of long-term physical, psychological, sexual, and cognitive effects that may influence QoL. The total BreSAS score ranks from 0 to 100, with a low score indicating a better QoL. Patients complete the BQ, the FACT-ES questionnaire, and case report forms for clinical and socio-demographic data during follow-up visits. Reliability and clinical and psychometric validity of the questionnaires are assessed by correlation analyses and exploration of known group comparisons. Results: From September 2015 to February 2016, 149 patients from three Italian oncology units were enrolled. Baseline questionnaires were returned from all, and 134 patients (89%) completed the BQ and FACT-ES in less than 15 min. For reliability, Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for each scale were greater than 0.70 in all analyzed symptoms. Convergent validity of BQ showed by Pearson’s r demonstrated a high correlation between intensity of symptoms and QoL, especially for pain and depression. No data were provided about reproducibility with test–retest study. Conclusion: The BQ demonstrates sufficient validity and reliability to support its use to assess patient-reported symptoms during planned follow-up clinical visits among BC survivors. Further full validation studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1058
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020



  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer survivor
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

Cite this

Giusti, R., Scarpi, E., Cannita, K., Silva, R. R., Filetti, M., Mazzotta, M., Ficorella, C., Botticelli, A., Maltoni, M., Marchetti, P., Porzio, G., & Verna, L. (2020). Clinical and psychometric validation of the BreSAS questionnaire module for symptom assessment among breast cancer survivors. Supportive Care in Cancer, 28(3), 1051-1058.