We have proposed that declines in adaptive capacity, defined as the ability to adapt to multiple stressors, may serve as an indicator of risk for fatigue. A comprehensive measure of adaptive capacity does not exist.
In this paper we describe construction of an instrument to measure adaptive capacity, the Adaptive Capacity Index (ACI).
Descriptive and psychometric.
Six sites providing palliative care in Western Canada.
=18 years old, diagnosed with advanced cancer, able to read and write English, Mini-Mental Status Exam score =22. Pilot study n=48; Main study n=225 stratified using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) tiredness score (=0 to =2 n=60; =3 to =6 n=108; =7 and =10 n=57).
Following ethics approval, 17 experts in symptom management assisted with content validation and consenting individuals completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue (FACT-F), the Profile of Mood States-Vigor short form (POMS-Vsf), and the ACI. A research assistant collected demographic information and assigned an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) score. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics (i.e., exploratory factor analyses, correlation, multivariate analyses of variance, and multiple regression).
Five 6-item ACI factors/subscales (Cognitive Function, Stamina/Muscle Endurance, Sleep Quality, Emotional Reactivity, and Social Interaction) were identified. The ACI-total scale and its subscales were internally consistent (Cronbach's alpha 0.76-0.89), and were significantly correlated with each other, and with each fatigue measure (Pearson's r ranging from -0.724 to 0.634). The ACI total score was sensitive to changes in the ESAS tiredness score. Stamina/Muscle Endurance, Cognitive Function, and Sleep Quality predicted 60.8% of the variance in FACT-F. Stamina/Muscle Endurance and Social Interaction predicted 36.8% of the variance in POMS-Vsf. Stamina/Muscle Endurance and Sleep Quality predicted 8% of the variance in ECOG.
The ACI is reliable and has beginning evidence of validity. In future studies we will examine relationships between ACI subscale scores and subsequent increases in fatigue and explore linkages to physiological processes. We will also establish ACI norms for early and late stage cancers and explore variations in ACI subscale scores base on age or gender.