Context Symptom screening is important for appropriate symptom management. It remains uncertain as to which scores on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System-Revised (ESAS-r) comprise the optimal cutoff points to determine symptom severity for Japanese cancer patients. Objectives To investigate optimal cutoff points for individual ESAS-r items for detecting symptom severity and to evaluate the screening performance of the ESAS-r depression item in Japanese cancer patients. Methods We recruited cancer patients receiving palliative care from five tertiary acute hospitals in Japan. We asked participants to complete the ESAS-r Japanese version, Verbal Rating Symptom Severity Scale, and Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report Japanese version. We calculated sensitivity and specificity for detecting severe and moderate/severe symptoms evaluated by the Verbal Rating Symptom Severity Scale at different cutoff points of the ESAS-r. We also calculated sensitivity and specificity for detecting both the presence of depression and moderate/severe depression evaluated by the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report at various cutoff points for the depression item of the ESAS-r Japanese version. Results A total of 292 participants completed the questionnaire. For most of the ESAS-r symptoms, cutoff points to achieve the best balance between sensitivity and specificity were 5-7 for determining severe intensity and 3-4 for determining moderate/severe intensity. For the ESAS-r depression item, a cutoff point of 2 achieved the best balance between sensitivity and specificity for detecting both the presence of depression and moderate/severe depression. Conclusion The ESAS-r Japanese version can accurately represent the severity of many symptoms. The cutoff points established for determining the level of symptom severity using ESAS-r provides a guide for symptom management in Japanese cancer patients.
- Edmonton Symptom Assessment System
- cutoff point
- symptom severity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine