Objective Hot flushes and night sweats (HFNS) are commonly experienced by men receiving treatment for prostate cancer. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been found to be an effective treatment for HFNS in women, but cognitions and behavioural reactions to HFNS in men are under-researched. This study describes the development of the HFNS beliefs and behaviour scale for men.
Methods HFNS beliefs and behaviour items were generated from a qualitative study, from pilot interviews with men with prostate cancer and HFNS, and from scales used for women. 118 men with prostate cancer, aged above 18, English-speaking, who had minimum of seven HFNS weekly for at least 1 month, completed the initial measure, and measures of HFNS frequency, problem rating, anxiety and depression (HADS). Principal components analyses with orthogonal rotation determined the most coherent solution.
Results Exploratory factor analysis culminated in a 17-item HFNS beliefs and behaviour scale for men (HFBBS-Men) with three subscales: (1) HFNS social context and sleep, (2) Calm/Acceptance, (3) Humour/Openness. The subscales had reasonable internal consistency (Cronbach alpha 0.56-0.83). Validity was supported, by correlations between subscale 1, HFNS frequency, problem-rating and mood; men with locally advanced cancer more likely to adopt Calm/Acceptance and those with metastatic cancer Humour/Openness.
Conclusions Preliminary analysis of the HFBBS-Men suggests that it is a psychometrically sound instrument, grounded in men's experiences. As a measure of cognitive and behavioural reactions to HF/NS, the HFBBS-Men should increase understanding of the mediators of outcomes of psychological interventions, such as CBT.