Italian version of the M.D. Anderson Symptom Inventory—Head and Neck Module: linguistic validation

A. Greco, E. Orlandi, A. Mirabile, S. Takanen, C. Fallai, N. A. Iacovelli, A. Rimedio, E. Russi, M. Sala, D. Monzani, D. I. Rosenthal, G. B. Gunn, P. Steca, L. Licitra, P. Bossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Head and neck cancer (HNC) patients can experience symptoms due to the tumor itself or to the treatment, with an impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures pertaining to HRQoL are used in medical research and to support clinical decisions. PRO instrument applicability and cultural adaptation must be tested for each population. The aim of this study is to linguistically validate the Italian translation of the M.D. Anderson Symptom Inventory—Head and Neck Module (MDASI-HN). Methods: Following forward and backward translation of the items of the English MDASI-HN into Italian, it was administered along with a cognitive debriefing to HNC patients able to read and understand Italian language. Individual and group responses are presented using descriptive statistics. Results: From May 2013 through September 2013, 56 patients with HNC (18 during curative treatment, 20 in palliative chemotherapy, and 18 in follow-up period) completed the MDASI-HN followed by accompanying cognitive debriefing. Ninety-nine percent of the individual MDASI-HN items were completed. Average time to complete the MDASI-HN was 8.5 min (range 3–15). Results suggested overall ease of completion, relevance, and comprehensibleness of this translated self-report instrument in this Italian patient population. Conclusions: The Italian version of the MDASI-HN is linguistically valid; future research should explore dimensionality, reliability, and convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of this patient-reported instrument, in order to use this translated version in outcomes research and clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3465-3472
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Mar 21 2015


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Italian MDASI-HN
  • Patient symptoms
  • Patient-reported outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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