Psychometric Assessment of SpiDiscI: Spiritual Distress Scale for Palliative Care Patients in India

Joris Gielen, Duquesne University
Komal Kashyap, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital India
Suraj Pal Singh, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital India
Sushma Bhatnagar, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital India
Santosh K. Chaturvedi, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences


Objectives: Spirituality has an impact on the quality of life of palliative care patients and it influences the way in which they experience their disease. Spiritual distress is a common issue among palliative care patients in India that is best assessed through a tool specifically designed for them. This study presents the findings of a psychometric assessment of SpiDiscI: a 16-item spiritual distress scale for Hindi speaking palliative care patients in India. Materials and Methods: This study used a non-experimental cross-sectional sample survey design. 400 cancer patients undergoing pain treatment at the pain and palliative care unit of a tertiary cancer hospital in New Delhi enrolled in the study and completed the study's questionnaire. The questionnaire contained a section on demographic information, a numerical rating scale (NRS) for pain, SpiDiscI, FACIT-Sp-12, and WHOQOL-BREF. A subset of 50 patients with stable pain completed SpiDiscI a 2nd time 2 weeks after the first administration of the scale to assess test-retest reliability. Results: The scale's internal consistency is very good (Cronbach's Alpha 0.85). Spiritual distress scores ranged from 0 to 93.8 (mean 37.1, SD 23.6). Significant negative correlations between SpiDiScI and both FACIT-Sp-12 (R = -0.16, P = 0.001) and WHOQOL-BREF (R = -0.27, P < 0.001) confirmed convergent validity. There was no significant association with NRS pain scores (R = 0.06, P = 0.224). The highly significant association (R = 0.75, P < 0.001) of the scores on assessments 2 weeks apart confirmed test-retest reliability. Conclusion: SpiDiScI is a reliable and valid measure to assess spiritual distress in research among Hindi speaking palliative care patients in India.