Psychometric properties of the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory: an item response theory approach

Daniel S J Costa, Mbathio Dieng, Anne E. Cust, Phyllis N. Butow, Nadine A. Kasparian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Classical psychometric methods have been used to demonstrate the validity and reliability of the 42-item Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory (FCRI). Our aim was to expand on this evidence with information on the discriminative value of the individual items when administered to people with a personal history of melanoma, using an item response theory (IRT) approach. Methods: We used a two-parameter IRT model to examine all items of the FCRI, primarily regarding whether people with a personal history of melanoma use the response scale as expected (as indicated by item characteristic curves), and whether the items can discriminate between those low and high on the constructs assessed by the instrument. Results: The sample was comprised of 286 adults with a personal history of melanoma (58% male, mean age: 59.1 years). The established factor structure of the FCRI was generally confirmed. IRT highlighted several items with problematic item characteristic curves, including most items in the Reassurance and Coping Strategies domains. Several other items exhibited poor discrimination. Conclusions: Based on this IRT analysis, we outline suggestions for refinement of the FCRI and potential development of a short-form, that could reduce respondent burden. Generalisability of these findings beyond melanoma warrants further examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-838
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


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