Validity and reliability of the MSKCC Bowel Function instrument in a sample of Italian rectal cancer patients

P. Zotti, P. Del Bianco, S. Serpentini, P. Trevisanut, M. C. Barba, V. Valentini, A. De Paoli, S. Pucciarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: The purpose of this study was to translate the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (MSKCC) Bowel Function Instrument into Italian and to test its psychometric validity and reliability in a sample of Italian rectal cancer patients. Methods: The MSKCC questionnaire was translated into Italian using a standard procedure of double-back translation. Construct validity was tested using a factor analysis and internal reliability was estimated using the Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Concurrent validity was determined by correlations with European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 and QLQ-CR38 quality of life scales. A non-parametric analysis of variance was used to establish the discriminant validity of the questionnaire. Test-retest reliability was assessed using the intra-class correlation coefficient. Results: 124 rectal cancer patients participated in the validation study. The number of missing items was 2.2%. The factorial structure was found to be quite similar to the original one and the internal reliability was 0.7 for urgency, 0.6 for frequency, and 0.7 for dietary subscale. The test-retest reliability was acceptable with one exception: the dietary subscale showed a low reproducibility (ICC = 0.4). All three subscales showed a significant correlation with the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-CR38 domains and were able to discriminate several groups of clinical relevance. Conclusions: The Italian version of the MSKCC Bowel Function Instrument shows acceptable psychometric properties and can be considered a valuable and specific instrument to assess bowel functions in rectal cancer patients, both for research purposes and in clinical practise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-596
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Assessment
  • Bowel function
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaire
  • Rectal cancer
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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