The present study was conducted to establish the validity of the spiritual distress scale (SDS), a scale developed as part of a qualitative study in which 20 cancer patients were interviewed about spiritual needs in 2003-2004. The SDS has four domains: relationship with self, relationship with others, relationship with God, and attitude towards death A measurement study was conducted whereby 85 patients completed the SDS during their hospitalization in the oncology unit of a medical centre in southern Taiwan. The SDS, including four domains of sub-scales, was broader than other spiritual scales in the literature that only contained one or two domains and focused on the health area. The SDS has established the adequate content and construct validity. Further training of nurses for assessing spiritual distress of cancer patients using the SDS would be recommended for future study. The established content and construct validity of the SDS could be applied in oncology for nurses to assess spiritual distress of cancer patients.
International Journal of Palliative Nursing 16(3),134-138