Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate the reliability and validity of the Photodynamic Therapy Side Effects and Symptoms Scale (PSES) and to begin to describe patient-reported outcomes of photodynamic therapy (PDT).
Design: Repeated-measures instrument validation. The PSES uses a 10-point numeric scale to evaluate side effects or symptom trouble or burden on 13 items.
Setting: A Pacific Northwest community hospital.
Sample: 14 patients with end-stage lung or esophageal cancer undergoing palliative PDT.
Methods: Participants completed five PSES surveys (i.e., at baseline and once a week for four weeks after PDT). Weekly phone calls were made to assess functional status, operationalized as Karnofsky Performance Status.
Main Research Variables: Symptoms and functional status.
Findings: The PSES possessed acceptable internal consistency reliability and concurrent validity. Functional status declined in the first week after PDT, concurrent with an increase in side-effect and symptom burden. Photosensitivity became more burdensome over time but was never extremely burdensome.
Conclusions: The feasibility of measuring a diverse set of side effects and symptoms in end-stage cancer with a single-page, large-type instrument essentially was supported. The study provided preliminary information about side effects and symptoms in patients undergoing palliative PDT.
Implications for Nursing: Nurses often are called on to provide information to patients considering various treatment options. This study offers the first data on patient-reported outcomes of palliative PDT that clinicians can use to help in answering inquiries. The design of the PSES may be replicated by researchers working with other populations with end-stage disease to reduce respondent burden and decrease attrition.