Research Output
Validation of the electronic Holistic Needs Assessment.
  Macmillan Cancer Support UK have developed an electronic Holistic Needs Assessment (eHNA) to: (1) help people living with cancer express all their needs, (2) help those helping them better target support. eHNA consists of 48 items each ranked from zero (no problem) to 10. There has been no psychometric analysis of this tool and so its validity and reliability are untested. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the eHNA by examining its construct validity. Objectives were to (a) test whether the eHNA measured holistic concerns and (b) analyse the factor structure of the eHNA. Objectives were achieved through a secondary analysis of 5421 responses to eHNA using concurrent application of Rasch analysis and principal component analysis. All the items bar one fit with the Rasch rating model and were equivalently important to people. Differential item functioning was evident according to whether people were described as curative or not. A 12-factor solution explained 46 % variance. Of this the emotional/spiritual factor explained the most variance accounting for 15 %. The eHNA was internally consistent and conceptually coherent with the construct of holistic needs assessment. Clinical focus is best directed to the individual items highlighted by the patient except where patients check too many problems for the clinician to accurately prioritise. In these cases only, the emotional/spiritual factor may help identify appropriate clinical action. Strengths and weaknesses of the analyses are discussed, particularly in relation to ‘at risk’ subsamples such as those classified as non-curative.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    19 October 2015

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  • Cross Ref:


  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.73 Nursing

  • Funders:

    Macmillan Cancer Support UK


Snowden, A., & Fleming, M. (2015). Validation of the electronic Holistic Needs Assessment. SpringerPlus, 4, 623.



Cancer; Holistic needs assessment; Validity; Reliability; Rasch analysis; Factor analysis;

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