Objective: To assess the psychometric properties of a Dutch adaptation of an originally Australian instrument measuring the psychological impact of breast cancer screening. Methods: The three subscales (emotional, physical, social) of the Psychological Consequences Questionnaire (PCQ) underwent formal linguistic and cultural translation. A total of 524 women under intensive surveillance because of increased breast cancer risk were asked to complete the questionnaire at 2 months prior to screening, at the day of the screening visit preceding the screening, and 1–4 weeks after screening. Acceptability, score distribution, internal consistency, scale structure, responsiveness to change and construct validity were analysed. Results: Response rates were high (98–94%) and there were very few missing answers and non-unique answers. All scales had Cronbach’s αs > 0.70. The physical and social subscale showed ceiling effects. The item-own scale correlations were only slightly higher than the corresponding item-other scale correlations. Factor analysis showed that the assumed three separate subscales were replicated in our study. Pre- and post-screening effect sizes for the emotional scale were larger than for the other two scales. All PCQ scales correlated with the scales of two other psychological measures (p ≤ 0.01). The emotional scale and the total PCQ score were able to differentiate between subgroups varying in affective risk perception (p ≤ 0.01). Conclusion: The Dutch PCQ is useful in measuring psychological impact among women under intensive surveillance because of high breast cancer risk.
Breast cancerCross-cultural adaptationHigh-riskPsychological morbidityScreening