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To develop an instrument to assess the specific symptoms of chemotherapy-induced taste alterations. Cross-sectional study. Two outpatient chemotherapy centers in Kanto, Japan. Convenience sample of 214 adult patients with chemotherapy-induced taste alterations. Items on the chemotherapy-induced taste alteration scale (CiTAS) were developed by a qualitative study of patients with taste alterations, and the content validity of each item was assessed by a panel of specialized oncology nurses. Data were analyzed for item consistency using Cronbach alpha and construct validity using factor analysis. Taste alterations, symptoms of discomfort, and impact of taste alterations on daily life. An 18-item scale was developed with four dimensions identified through factor analysis: decline in basic taste, discomfort, phantogeusia and parageusia, and general taste alterations. The scale demonstrated excellent reliability (Cronbach alpha = 0.9) and test-retest reliability (r = 0.94, p < 0.001, n = 28), as well as good validity, which was indicated by its strong correlation with a visual analog scale of the impact of taste alterations on daily life (r = 0.62, p < 0.001) and by negative correlations with Short Form-8 quality-of-life measures (physical component summary, r = -0.33; mental component summary, r = -0.47). The CiTAS enabled valid, reliable measurement of specific symptoms of chemotherapy-induced taste alterations. The CiTAS has potential as a clinical tool and also could be used as a measure of chemotherapy-induced taste alterations in future studies. The CiTAS may help evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to reduce the symptoms of taste alterations, such as administering zinc and self-care strategies.


Taro Kano, Kiyoko Kanda. Development and validation of a chemotherapy-induced taste alteration scale. Oncology nursing forum. 2013 Mar;40(2):E79-85

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PMID: 23448748

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