Development and preliminary validation of the cancer family impact scale for colorectal cancer

Pamela Smith Sinicrope, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This study aimed to develop and validate The Cancer Family Impact Scale (CFIS), an instrument for use in studies investigating relationships among family factors and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening when family history is a risk factor. We used existing data to develop the measure from 1,285 participants (637 families) across the United States who were in the Johns Hopkins Colon Cancer Genetic Testing study. Participants were 94% white with an average age of 50.1 years, and 60% were women. None had a personal CRC history, and eighty percent had 1 FDR with CRC and 20% had more than one FDR with CRC. The study had three aims: (1) to identify the latent factors underlying the CFIS via exploratory factor analysis (EFA); (2) to confirm the findings of the EFA via confirmatory factor analysis (CFA); and (3) to assess the reliability of the scale via Cronbach's alpha. Exploratory analyses were performed on a split half of the sample, and the final model was confirmed on the other half. The EFA suggested the CFIS was an 18-item measure with 5 latent constructs: (1) NEGATIVE: negative effects of cancer on the family; (2) POSITIVE: positive effects of cancer on the family; (3) COMMUNICATE: how families communicate about cancer; (4) FLOW: how information about cancer is conveyed in families; and (5) NORM: how individuals react to family norms about cancer. CFA on the holdout sample showed the CFIS to have a reasonably good fit (Chi-square = 389.977, df = 122, RMSEA= 0.058 (.052-.065), CFI=.902, TLI=.877, GF1=.939). The overall reliability of the scale was α=0.65. The reliability of the subscales was: (1) NEGATIVE α = 0.682; (2) POSITIVE α = 0.686; (3) COMMUNICATE α = 0.723; (4) FLOW α = 0.467; and (5) NORM α = 0.732. We concluded the CFIS to be a good measure with most fit levels over 0.90. The CFIS could be used to compare theoretically driven hypotheses about the pathways through which family factors could influence health behavior among unaffected individuals at risk due to family history, and also aid in the development and evaluation of cancer prevention interventions including a family component.

Subject Area

Public health|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Sinicrope, Pamela Smith, "Development and preliminary validation of the cancer family impact scale for colorectal cancer" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3290037.